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Addiction and Recovery

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Addiction is a chronic disorder in which an individual is blinded by a substance, or engages in an activity, that gives them an immense amount of pleasure but has become detrimental to their everyday life. Compulsive behaviors and addictions can often provide confidence, control, validation or other emotions lacking in one’s life, however these only work temporarily and the root of the problem still needs to be addressed.

People who have developed an addiction may be unaware that it is out of control, which is why counseling is an essential part of working through and managing this condition. An addiction of any sort can be exhausting and one should never go through the recovery process alone.

Common addictions include but are not limited to:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Gambling
  • Internet
  • Shopping
  • Food

Addiction changes the brain through the limbic system, also known as the “brain reward system.” This part of the brain is responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and will manifest thoughts such as, “I want more,” or “Let’s do that again.” The abuse of addictive substances and behaviors triggers this system which can prolong a continuous cycle of destructive behavior.

Many treatment plans focus on talk therapy and behavior therapy and can be performed in a group or through one-on-one sessions. During these sessions,  the focus is to analyze the reasons behind the addiction(s), identification of triggers and what has helped control impulses in the past and learning coping skills to better manage the compulsions without relapsing.