Erie Addiction Counseling

Addiction Treatment in Erie, PA—Counseling and Therapy

Jim Carroll was an unstoppable force on the basketball court, but his life off the court was quickly spiraling out of control. The movie, Basketball Diaries chronicles Jim’s story—the story of a normal kid in New York City. No one could guess that Jim was fighting an addiction just by looking at him. Jim loved to play basketball, and he was on a good team. He had close friends, and he excelled at writing. But there was pain too. Heroin lures him into its trap, and the movie chronicles Jim’s descent into addiction and then his recovery. Basketball Diaries highlights an important point about addiction: this illness can strike anyone, anywhere.

“Addiction isn’t about substance—you aren’t addicted to the substance,
you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings.”
—Susan Cheever

Twenty-one million people in the United States are fighting an addiction and can relate to Jim Carroll’s story. The addiction may be for a substance—like cocaine, opioids, alcohol, cannabis, or more. The addiction may be for an activity—like video games, sex, Internet, shopping or more. Whatever form the addiction may take, the same illness is at work. Addiction is a disease that alters how people’s brains function. It is what Susan Cheever references: the substance is just the surface of the illness. Addiction changes the brain to produce a mood, a feeling that entraps people. It is an illness that often promises people healing and hope, but it delivers destruction and despair. Addiction often takes over people’s lives—harming their health, their career, their finances, their family. Addiction even puts people’s very lives in danger.

The professionals at Thriveworks Erie understand addiction, and they understand recovery. We have helped many clients find the right support and treatment they need to fight an addiction, and we are ready to help you.

Addiction: Separating Truth from the Myths

Addiction is a common and widespread illness, but myths still plague people who are suffering from it. Many of these myths are grounded in misunderstanding about the illness and how it functions. This misinformation can make seeking treatment even harder than it should be. The best way to fight myths is with the truth. The following are common myths about addiction, and truth about what the disease really is.

1) Myth: Addiction Is Rare

Addiction may whisper lies to people, saying, no one else understands…you are the only one. The truth is that all kinds of people experience addiction—old or young, men and women, rich or poor, of every race and of every religion. Recovery groups are filled with people who are fighting an addiction or who are living a sober life after an addiction. Therapists offices are filled with clients who are learning how to rewire their brain. Support and empathy and accountability are all available. In fact, many recovery plans include finding a community of understanding. Addiction is not rare. It is widespread, and so is recovery. Help is available.

2) Myth: Addiction Is a Decision

Another lie that addiction whispers is, if you had just chosen differently, then you would not be in this position. The truth is that addiction is a disease, not a choice. No one wants to be addicted. No one chooses to have an illness. Addicts can take steps toward treatment and healing, just like a diabetes patient can choose to take their medication. However, recovery from addiction involves far more than willpower and making good choices. It involves finding a supportive community, pursuing therapy, learning about triggers and coping mechanisms, and possibly medication. These are the treatments that may restore the brain’s balance and allow the addict to be free from this illness.

3) Myth: Addiction Only Affects Weak People

This lie is rooted in shame. Instead of thinking of addiction as an illness (that is, something is wrong in a person’s body), this myth whispers, you are wrong. The truth is that no one blames people for having cancer, and no one should blame anyone for having an addiction. There is still much to learn about addiction’s cause, but many factors are completely out of an individual’s control—things like genetics, childhood trauma, and allergies. Even more, blame does not bring healing. There are effective treatments, none of which involve blaming the patient.

If you are struggling with an addiction and you have heard these myths, know that truth and support are available. Addiction can flourish when individuals are alone and isolated. You do not have to fight addiction alone. There are communities of support. There are therapists who understand. You deserve support, truth, and treatment.

Setting Up an Appointment for Addiction Therapy with Thriveworks Erie

Thriveworks offers appointments for addiction therapy. We have worked with many clients who are fighting and helped them find the support and treatment options they needed. If you are struggling with substance abuse or a compulsive behavior, know that help is available. When you call Thriveworks Erie to make an appointment, a scheduling specialist will answer—not a voicemail, not an automated response. New clients often have an appointment the day following their call. Weekend and evening sessions are available, but we do not keep a waitlist. We want our clients to have the support they need when they need it. We also accept many forms of insurance.

You are not alone. Contact Thriveworks Erie today.

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