Addiction Articles

Do 12 Step Meetings Work for Sex Addicts?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Do 12 Step Meetings Work For Sex Addicts?As a sex addiction therapist I’m asked all the time, “How can I stop my sexual acting out behavior?” While the acting out behaviors are different for everyone, the root causes are very similar.

Treating the root causes of the addiction is how people gain sanity in their lives. Sanity is gained by attending 12 step meetings, attending individual counseling, attending sex addiction group counseling, and living a life that includes recovery from addiction.

Participating in all that recovery work may seem overwhelming for people early in their recovery process, but that is what it takes to become free from sexual addiction. Those who have had the best recoveries are the people who make recovery their number one priority.

5 Ways Rehab Will Change Your Life

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

5 Ways Rehab Will Change Your LifeMaking the transition from addiction to sobriety is a major change. It is sure to transform your life in several positive ways.

In order to make this transformation, many people will choose to enter into a treatment program of some kind. In such programs, you will have the support of addiction counselors, doctors, and maybe even other addicts. They will help you find the way to a happier and healthier life.

Here are a few ways you can expect your life to change in treatment.

Interventions That Really Work for College Drinking

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Interventions That Really Work for College DrinkingWhen a student heads off to college, friends, family members and loved ones hope that they are prepared both emotionally and academically for transitions and the independence that comes with college life. But for some students, drinking problems emerge with potentially serious consequences for a student’s academics, relationships and mental and physical health.

Colleges have long struggled to identify who is most at risk for developing drinking problems and which interventions best treat problems once they emerge. 

With more than 1,825 college student deaths from alcohol-related accidents, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it’s also a question of keen interest and scientific investigation for psychologists. What have they discovered?

Love Addiction, Codependency & Internet Dating

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Love Addiction, Codependency & Internet DatingFor the love addict and codependent, Internet dating sites are the crack cocaine of romantic exploration. Although the love addict consciously wants true and lasting love, they are drawn to the exhilarating rush of new love.

Their dream of being forever in love with a fated soul mate is inexplicably foiled by reasons that never quite make sense to them.

Love addicts rarely make it past the 30-day mark in any new relationship. It is as if they have a fuel tank that supplies the gasoline to a race car engine, but it only has a one-gallon capacity.

Melissa, a 35-year-old codependent, and Jake, a 37-year-old love addict, were oblivious to their psychological afflictions. They felt like “regular” people who just wanted the all-American dream of true love. They were blind to their revolving door dating pattern, which they simply dismissed as a phenomenon of the modern Internet age of romance.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Navigating a Relationship with a Sex Addict

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Navigating a Relationship with a Sex AddictCouples in recovery from sex addiction are in a unique situation.

It requires patience, hard work and commitment to the healing process. A couple’s recovery as a team also depends on each partner’s individual recovery. While it is assumed that the addict will follow a program of recovery, it can often come as a surprise to the partner that his or her own recovery is of paramount importance.

It is up to the individual to decide whether to stay in or leave the relationship — nobody can make that choice for them.

How to Change Self-Destructive Behavior: Stages of Change

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to Change Self-Destructive BehaviorWhen you attempt to change a self-destructive behavior pattern — such as heavy alcohol or drug use, cigarette smoking or binge eating — research has shown that you will go through quite predictable stages of change on your journey to recovery.

These stages of change were first identified by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1982 and since then hundreds of studies have validated their original findings.

The stages of change are: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

It is useful to know which stage of change you are currently experiencing because then you can use specific, targeted strategies that will be effective in taking you to the next level in your recovery.

If you don’t use the right strategy for your particular stage of change, then your attempt at recovery can stall. This also helps to explain why rehabilitation sometimes fails.

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an InterventionStaging an intervention for a loved one is stressful and emotionally taxing. Having an addict in your life is difficult in its own way and leads to many strong and difficult emotions, including anger, sadness, and guilt. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel powerless and frustrated.

Ultimately, only an addict can decide to get help, but you may be able to influence his or her decision by staging an intervention. Doing so will give you and other loved ones an opportunity to communicate with the addict about the way his or her behavior is making you feel.

5 Ways to Have More Fun in Recovery

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

5 Ways to Have More Fun in RecoveryRecovering from addiction, whether it be a substance abuse or alcohol problem, can be an arduous and trying process. Completely reworking your life into something uncomfortable and different from what it was often is stressful and mentally taxing.

But keeping a positive attitude and an open mind toward learning new things can turn recovery from a lot of hard work to something that can actually be a little enjoyable.

Below are five ways that recovery can be more fun.

Community: The Kinship of Thinspiration

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Community: The Kinship of ThinspirationFrom beneath her beautifully tiny, A-cup breasts, her smooth ribs, covered only by a thin layer of white flesh, peeked out, taunting me, reminding me of what I could never be.

Yet, at the same time, they gave me a glimmer of empty hope that one day my ribs may protrude like hers. One day, my hip bones may sharpen and stick out, my collar bone may reveal itself to the public, my thighs may one day stop touching.

At 13, I found myself sitting in my living room, my eyes glued to the screen of my family’s clunky, black desktop as I fantasized what it would be like to be this 18-year-old goddess whose long, wavy dirty-blonde hair hung limp and dry from her scalp in that sexy, I-don’t-care fashion, framing her thin, pale, drawn-out face, made paler by her piercing, bright blue eyes encased by her dark bags and heavy black eyeshadow.

5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction Recovery

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction RecoveryCompleting treatment for substance abuse or alcohol addiction is a major accomplishment. But the real work starts when you walk out the door. You are now making a commitment to abstinence from drugs and alcohol every single day.

You will encounter cravings for your drug of choice, and for any escape, an opportunity to numb out, and perhaps, sometimes, an overall desire to not feel what you are feeling.

You will encounter triggers in the form of events, people, and subsequent emotions that will make you want to drink or get high again. What can you do in these situations?

Living with Co-Occurring Mental & Substance Abuse Disorders

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Living with Co-Occurring Mental & Substance Abuse DisordersSubstance abuse is defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Mental illness refers to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5).

When a person is suffering from both a substance abuse and a mental health disorder, it is called a co-occurring disorder. Some people refer to this as “dual diagnosis.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 50 percent of individuals with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance abuse. NAMI also estimates that 29 percent of all people diagnosed as mentally ill abuse alcohol or other drugs.

Can Early Childhood Factors Predict Addictive Tendencies?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Can Early Childhood Factors Predict Addictive Tendencies?Some research indicates that certain markers and behaviors observed in early development may be earmarks for future addictive patterns.

Children will exhibit some of these behaviors as early as 3 years old.

Possible Early Signs of Addiction

Being a risk taker.

Risk-taking behavior often first appears in early childhood. It may be an early sign of future substance abuse. This is the kid who climbs higher, runs faster, and engages in other physical feats that other children their age would shy away from.

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