The Many Faces of Addiction
Interestingly enough, addiction affects the brain in much the same way; whether that is an addiction to drugs/pills, alcohol, sex/pornography, gambling/high risk behavior, or food. Our brains are hardwired to love consistency, patterns, and to put it simply, finding the quickest way to feeling better. Unfortunately, sometimes we learn maladaptive behaviors to help us “feel better” that ultimately harm us, our families, and usually our health. As a leading expert on addiction, and having spent years as the Drug Court Coordinator for Wasatch County, as well as having experienced food addiction personally, here are a few ways that I would begin working with families and individuals in the Park City, Heber, and Midway area that are being torn apart by addiction:
Learning the Signs and Symptoms
Using psychoeducation, in therapy we would discuss what meaningful signs of addiction are, differentiating between “weekend fun” and full-blown dependency, how to work with individuals on the varying levels, what signs to dismiss, and what signs are meaningful and indicate necessary change.
Healthy Boundaries = Healthy Families
One of the hardest parts of being an addict, or having a loved one that is addicted, is learning how to give love, support, and nurture our loved ones, without causing more harm, feeding into the addiction, and allowing natural consequences. This is a sensitive area, with much love and empathy needed to help mothers, fathers, and siblings learn to empathize and love, without enabling.
Tips for Addicts
Focusing on some of the tips and tools to help addicts learn to pause, or HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired) watching for distress signals internally, emotionally, physically, and mentally to help the addict continue with their sober work. Also helping to create sober networks, connecting with friends, and possibly outside groups for additional support are beginning steps.
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes
At first sight, a silly quote, but very meaningful in the lives of addicts and their families. Taking time to really delve into familial problems, patterns, and behaviors that are maladaptive as well as looking at the individual, their friends, work, and internet use will be a launching point to create meaningful change.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction please call for a free consultation to see if our services are a good fit: