Substance Abuse & Addiction

Addiction can be devastating and debilitating.  It often leaves a path of destruction in its wake. Overcoming your addiction to drugs and alcohol will be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

I work with clients at all stages of their journey to recovery.  Do any of these apply to you?

  • You’ve recently completed treatment and are looking for support as you re-engage with your newly sober life (and all of the challenges that come with that!)
  • You have struggled off and on with substance abuse and are unsure of how to approach (and maintain) a life in recovery – previous relapses do not mean that you have failed or that you do not deserve to continue to seek recovery!
  • You have concerns about how often you use substances and you are seeking help for the first time
  • A loved one has expressed concern about your substance use but you are unsure if you are ready to give up or moderate your drug and alcohol use

Certain behaviors and emotional states are indicators that an addiction may be developing. As you read through these warning signs for addiction, do you recognize any concerning patterns in your own life or in the life of a loved one?

Behavioral Warning Signs of Addiction

  • Lying to hide one’s behavior (especially to loved ones).
  • Disconnecting from relationships and activities—isolating oneself.
  • Relational problems—fighting, tension, strain, worry, and more.
  • Regularly missing school or work or personal engagements.
  • Work or school challenges—low grades, poor review, or being fired.
  • Hiding and keeping secrets.
  • Financial difficulties (especially needing money).

Emotional Warning Signs of Addiction

  • Lacking awareness about one’s behavior: denial, minimizations, blame, rationalizations, diversions.
  • Loss of interest in people/activities that were once valued.
  • An inability to handle stress or challenges in life.
  • Irritability.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Being obnoxious, silly, or easily confused.

If these warning signs resonate with you, know that seeking help sooner rather than later is often important while treating addiction. Early treatment may mean some of the more serious consequences of addiction can be counteracted.

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress.
It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.”
– Alice Miller

I believe that addiction is not a choice.  I know that you did not choose the addiction, much like people do not choose other physical or mental ailments. Treating addiction is not as simple as choosing to stop the addiction. Treatment focuses upon support and care, not willpower.

I believe that addiction is not a weakness.  Addiction strikes many different kinds of people—young and old, women and men, poor and rich, every ethnicity, every religion. Addiction is an illness, not a character trait. My approach to treatment focuses upon healing, not blame.

I believe that recovery is possible.