Friday, 13 January 2012



Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Problems:

Addiction is a financial burden or constrain. The person who is in the grips of alcoholism and drug addiction may spend all his or her income on drugs and start selling items in order to feed their drug habit. Someone who is at this level of severity for drug usage may end up losing their job, their car, their home and anything else dear to them.
This also affects loved ones who feel obligated to help. Oftentimes family members are the ones who end up paying for their loved one’s drug usage, not necessarily by buying the drugs but by offering a place to live or financial assistance until they can get on their feet. Unfortunately, providing this level of support often enables people to keep using alcohol and drugs.

If you have a family member who is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, it is likely causing emotional problems within the family as well. Addiction is a family disease. Alcoholics and addicts are master manipulators and may use guilt and manipulative tactics to persuade family members to continue enabling them in their behavior. They may say they’re going to stop, this is the last time, I’ll be home right after work but when the drink or the drug calls all bets are off. This leads to frustration, worry, anger, co-dependency, sleepless nights, and all manner of toxic behaviors in attempting to deal with alcoholism and drug addiction problems.

Dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction problems can also lead to physical issues. This could be coping with anything from stress-related illnesses to injuries sustained while under the influence to violence and withdrawal symptoms. Family members are often pulled into the drama of an addict’s life and feel compelled to help, especially when health is threatened.

Getting Help;
If any of these alcoholism or drug addiction problems relate to you, it’s time to seek professional help. There are hundreds of resources in your area and thousands of drug rehab centers across the nation. The best approach is to call and speak to the professionals at a drug rehab center and find out your options. There are professional intervention services available as well as a variety of options for inpatient or outpatient. Alcoholism and drug addiction problems don’t go away on their own. Get help before it’s too late.

Discussion of Automatic Thoughts and Strategies for Coping          

The counselor describes situations that may trigger automatic thoughts or thoughts that could lead to a lapse:
Nostalgia: Some people who subsequently used marijuana remember using nostalgically substance, as if marijuana were formerly a friend. 
Testing control: After a certain period of abstinence, people in a recovery process may become overconfident and confiding. 
Crisis: Normally a person may respond to stress or trauma by saying, I could handle this only if I’m high --which usually denote getting the drug addicted to.
Feeling irritable when abstinent. Some people find new problems arise after they become abstinent and think using will solve these problems. For example, “I’m short-tempered and irritable around my family—maybe it’s more important for me to be a good-natured parent and spouse than it is to stop using right now” or “I’m no fun to be around when I’m not using; I don’t think I should stop because if I do, people won’t like me as much.”
Escape. Individuals want to avoid unpleasant situations, conflicts, or memories. Failure, rejection, disappointment, hurt, humiliation, embarrassment, and sadness tend to demand relief. People get tired of feeling hassled, upset, and lousy. They want to get away from it all and from themselves. They seek numbness and the perceived absence of problems.
Relaxation. Thoughts of wanting to unwind are normal, but sometimes people look for a shortcut, trying to unwind without doing something relaxing. The individual may choose the more immediate route through marijuana.
Socialization. This overlaps with relaxation but is confined to social situations. Individuals who are shy or uncomfortable in social settings may feel they need a social lubricant to decrease awkwardness and inhibitions.
Improved self-image. This situation involves a pervasive negative view of oneself and associated low self-esteem. When individuals become unhappy with themselves, feel inferior to others, regard themselves as lacking essential qualities, feel unattractive or deficient, or doubt their ability to succeed, they begin to think of using marijuana again because using previously may have provided immediate, but temporary, relief from these painful feelings.
To-hell-with-it thinking. During the weeks and months of trying to be abstinent, a person may become discouraged and think to hell with it. Thinking this way might result from a disappointing experience, feeling tired from coping with temptations, or other difficult situations.
No control. The attitude of being unable to control cravings ensures relapse. Individuals give up the fight, conceding defeat before attempting to resist marijuana use; they may feel out of control in other aspects of their lives as well. Marijuana is considered a viable option. This attitude differs from the to-hell-with-it attitude in which individuals do not necessarily feel powerless; they just don’t want to continue abstaining.

Explore Conceptual Difficulties

A client may have difficulty understanding the concepts of cognitive analysis and restructuring. If a concept is not understood, then the benefits of cognitive coping skills are lost. The counselor probes for the client’s understanding before moving on to the next concept. Using illustrations and examples helps convey the basic principles.
Initially a client may be unaware of the thoughts and feelings that precede decisions to use marijuana. He or she may be unaware of triggers and state, I just start using, that’s all. The client may admit that usually some external force occurs immediately before use but cannot remember what it is. The client denies personal responsibility for actions and attributes behavior to forces beyond his or her control, making it difficult for the client to initiate appropriate coping skills.
To help the client grasp cognitive concepts, the idea of “slowing down the action” (as in an instant replay or a slow-motion film sequence) of the thought process is useful. The counselor assists the client in breaking down the sequence of thoughts and feelings that lead to particular actions. He or she learns to observe, for example, that a tense interaction with a colleague may lead to feelings of frustration and to thoughts about not being good enough (e.g., smart, competent, or skilled enough), which lead to thoughts about wanting to use marijuana. Once the client can analyze the series of thoughts that might have led to a previous relapse, the notions of self-motivating (or self-awareness) and of modifying one’s thoughts (cognitive restructuring) can be introduced. The goal is to make the client aware of his or her thought processes and enable the client to replace using thoughts with coping thoughts that enhance abstinence:

Dealing With Cravings and Urges
• Urges are common in the recovery process. Do not regard them as signs of failure. Instead, use your urges to help you understand what triggers your cravings.
• Urges are like ocean waves. They get stronger only to a point; then they start to subside.
• You win every time you defeat an urge to use. Urges get stronger the next time if you give in and “feed” them. However, if you don’t feed it, an urge eventually will weaken and die.

Practice Exercise

For the next week, make a daily record of urges to use drugs, the intensity of those urges, and the coping behaviors you used.

Fill out the Daily Record of Urges To Use Marijuana (form 5C):
• Date.
• Situation: Include anything about the situation and your thoughts or feelings that seemed to trigger the urge to use.
• Intensity of cravings: Rate your craving—1=none at all, 100=worst ever.
• Coping behaviors used: Note how you attempted to cope with the urge to use marijuana. If it helps, note the effectiveness of your coping technique.


Many people try to cope with their urges by gritting their teeth and toughing it out. Some urges, especially when you first return to your old using environment, are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with your urge to use until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing.
Urges are like ocean waves. They are small when they start, grow in size, and then break up and dissipate. You can imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. The basis of urge surfing is similar to that of many martial arts. In judo, one overpowers an opponent by first going with the force of the attack. By joining with the opponent’s force, one can take control of it and redirect it to one’s advantage. This type of technique of gaining control by first going with the opponent allows one to take control while expending a minimum of energy. Urge surfing is similar. You can join with an urge (rather than meet it with a strong opposing force) as a way of taking control of your urge to use. After you have read and become familiar with the instructions for urge surfing, you may find this a useful technique when you have a strong urge to use.

Urge surfing has three basic steps:
1. Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “Let me see—my craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
2. Focus on one area where you are experiencing the urge. Notice the exact sensations in that area. For example, do you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? How large an area is involved? Notice the sensations and describe them to yourself. Notice the changes that occur in the sensation. “Well, my mouth feels dry and parched. There is tension in my lips and tongue. I keep swallowing. As I exhale, I can imagine the smell and taste of marijuana.”
3. Refocus on each part of your body that experiences the craving. Pay attention to and describe to yourself the changes that occur in the sensations. Notice how the urge comes and goes
Many people notice that after a few minutes of urge surfing the craving vanishes. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to make the craving go away but to experience the craving in a new way. If you practice urge surfing, you will become familiar with your cravings and learn how to ride them out until they go away easily.

Expect Nothing but Addiction Rehab Can Help You Live a Better Life

The last thing anyone wants to cope with is an addiction. Addiction rehab becomes an attractive proposition when you’ve hit rock bottom and feel like your life it totally out of control. The thing is, some people look at rehab as kind of scary. What will they do to you in rehab? Will you come out a different person? Will what you value still remain? Am I going to be deprogrammed?
You don’t need to be scared of addiction rehab! The fact that you’re considering it means that you’re valuing something more important than your addiction –your life! That’s a good thing, so hold on to it while you’re thinking about getting into rehab. The people who run rehab programs want you to get control of your life as well.
You’ll find that when you check into addiction rehab that there is some procedure you’ll need to follow. The health professionals will do a thorough check on your medical history, your present medical condition and your present state of mind. Many addictions have physical side effects that require caring medical supervision during the withdrawal period, so getting into rehab if you’re considering going cold turkey is a good idea. You’ll need the help they can give.

Caring Is All About You in Addiction Rehab

After you’ve gone through the process of breaking the physical addiction in rehab, you’ll go on to a treatment program designed to help you abstain from using the substances that formerly had such a hold on you. You’ll learn coping skills for avoiding re-addiction. You’ll learn about the addiction process and how to move on with a much better and drug-free life.

What to Expect in Addiction Treatment Centers

You’ve decided you’ve had enough and are tired of living a life of substance abuse and addiction. You want to learn how to break free and want to get yourself some good addiction treatment. But you’re nervous because you don’t know what to expect.
It’s okay to be nervous when you’re considering addiction treatment. It’s new and you’re embarking on what could be a great life adventure. I know, that sounds goofy, but it’s true. If you’ve been addicted for a long time, maybe you’ve forgotten what an addiction-free life feels like. Choosing a quality addiction treatment center will definitely be a new and exciting adventure.

Expectations in rehab:

It does depend on the program. Most addiction treatment programs like to work in conjunction with a medical doctor to monitor your health. Many addictions have withdrawal side effects and there are medicines to help you get through it without damaging yourself, or that can minimize the withdrawal discomfort. After that, you can expect to receive counseling – both individual and in groups. While you may find that you prefer one form of therapy over another, don’t neglect trying them both. Individual therapy can help with your and your unique issues. But group therapy is great to keep you from feeling so alone as you battle your addiction – and win.

People Could be of Help in Your Addiction Treatment Program

If you’re offered the chance to have a sponsor to talk to, take it! You’ll find the support system goes a long way to help you not only break your addiction but develop the healthy habits that will keep you sober. It helps if you can talk to someone who has been through it, and in group therapy, and other forms of addiction treatment, you’ll find the support you need from the people who have been there.

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