Addiction in Lancaster, PA—Therapists and Counselors
Jack started smoking marijuana when he was a freshman in high school. His started using at parties. It was fun and occasional at first, but then his parents divorced. Assignments piled up at school and so did Jack’s stress. To get by, Jack used weed more and more. By the time he was in college, he was using every day. Whenever life got to be too much, he had an escape. Now, he is working his first full-time job. Jack stopped long enough to pass a drug test, but the company does random testing. He is worried. Jack is ready to stop using, but he has tried several times. Jack keeps telling himself, this time will be the last. But he can’t stop. Jack is wondering if he needs help and if he has an addiction.
“Prohibition of substances which give pleasure to people does not work. Addiction is a health problem, not a moral one, and there are many proven strategies which can reduce its burden.” —Dr. Vikram Patel
Most likely, you can relate to Jack’s experiences. Over 21 million Americans are fighting an addiction so it is highly likely you or someone you know is struggling. For some, the addiction looks like Jack’s and like abusing a substance like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, or more. For others, the addiction looks like a compulsive behavior like sex, video games, gambling, shopping, and more. In either case, the underlying illness is the same: addiction changes people’s brains. Addiction lures people into its grip with false promises of stress-relief, healing, and acceptance. It promises an easy way around difficult emotions and life’s problems, but addiction never delivers on its promises. Addiction is a severe illness, and often requires treatment from a mental health professional.
The professionals at Thriveworks Lancaster understand what it takes to reclaim the brain from addiction. In the process of healing from addiction, people often reclaim their whole lives, and the counselors and therapists have guided many people through that process.
Tens of millions of people in the US alone suffer from addiction. Even though it is a common disease, there are still many misunderstandings about what addiction is and how it functions. These become a problem because many of these myths stigmatize those with addiction and make it more difficult for them to receive the help they desperately need and deserve. Many of the myths miss the fact that addiction is a disease that needs intervention. The best way to counter a misunderstanding is with the truth. Here are some of the most prevalent myths about addiction, and the truth about what addiction truly is.
1) Myth: Addiction Is Rare.
“No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions.” —Patrick J. Kennedy
Addiction whispers many lies, and some of the worst lies isolate people. This myth is one example. The truth is that addiction is not rare. Many people suffer. Many have recovered. There are support groups filled with people who understand and who are supportive. There are therapist’s offices where people find community and learn how to fight addiction with healthy connection. Cultivating a supportive community is often a key component of healing because addiction grows when people are isolated.
2) Myth: People Choose to Be Addicted.
“A lot of people think that addiction is a choice. A lot of people think it’s a matter of will. That has not been my experience. I don’t find it to have anything to do with strength.” —Matthew Perry
Addiction wants to blame anything and everything to divert attention from the real problem. This includes making people think that addiction is about choosing differently or being stronger. Addicts may think, If only I had made better choices… The truth is that many of addiction’s risk factors are out of an individual’s control—things like childhood abuse, family history, and allergies. The truth is that no one chooses addiction, just like no one chooses to have cancer. Willpower, strength, good choices do not cause or cure addiction. Instead, committing to proven treatment plans means committing to lifestyle changes that rewire the brain’s activity.
3) Myth: Addicts Are Weak.
“In my family and in my community, I see people struggling with drug addiction, with poverty and the effects of generational poverty; I see people struggling with lack of access to healthcare.” — Jesmyn Ward
This myth shames those who have an addiction, and thus, it is particularly dangerous. The truth is that the addict is not the problem—the addiction is. The illness is what needs to be attack. The illness is what needs treatment. When people receive the treatment they need, they often heal. This is another myth that can keep people isolated and alone. Those who are suffering from an addiction deserve better. They deserve truth, treatment, and support.
Starting Counseling for Addiction at Thriveworks Lancaster
If you are struggling with substance abuse or with a compulsive behavior, it may be time to reach out for help. Doing so sooner rather than later may set you up for more effective treatment. Help is available. The professionals at Thriveworks Lancaster have extensive experience helping their clients who are fighting an addiction, and they have appointments available. When you call our office, we know that treatment cannot always wait. New clients frequently have their first appointment within 24 hours. We also accept many forms of insurance. Call today.