Addiction is a primary disease of the brain and defined as a dependence on a substance or behavior as well as, a persistent, chronic, relapsing behavior. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors. There is a growing recognition that many addicts are addicted to more than one substance or behavioral process.
The term addiction has been partially replaced by the words substance dependence or substance abuse. Addiction has been extended to include mood-altering behaviors or activities and researchers speak of two types of addictions:
1) Substance addictions include for example, alcoholism, drug abuse, prescription drug abuse and smoking.
2) Process addictions include for example, gambling, spending, shopping, eating, and sexual activity.
It’s challenging to help a loved one struggling with any type of addiction. Sometimes a direct, heart-to-heart conversation can start the road to recovery. But when it comes to addiction, the person with the problem often struggles to see it and acknowledge it. A more focused approach is often needed. You may need to join forces with others and take action through a formal intervention.
Examples of addictions that may warrant an intervention include:
- Prescription drug abuse
- Street drug abuse
- Compulsive eating
People who struggle with addiction are often in denial about their situation and unwilling to seek treatment. They may not recognize the negative effects their behavior has on themselves and others. An intervention presents your loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help.
An intervention is a carefully planned process that may be done by family and friends, in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional (interventionist). It sometimes involves coworkers, clergy members or others who care about the person struggling with addiction. During the intervention, these people gather together to confront the person about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment.
Interventions address the fact that addiction is a disease affecting you and your family–not just the addict. Family and close friends of an addict frequently ask for intervention assistance when an addict has already received counseling and recovery services. When an addict no longer respects boundaries set by you, family members and close friends and refuses to get help, arranging an intervention is essential for saving the life of the addict and restoring normal family functioning.
With a credentialed Interventionist on staff at La Jolla Healing Center and counselors qualified and trained in interventions, we can help you, you family and motivate the addict to seek the necessary help they may need to fight and control their addiction. If you’ve read this you probably have questions and we are here to confidentially answer them. Please call 858-454-4357 and speak to one our qualified Team.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Alcoholism is not defined by what you drink, when you drink it, or even how much you drink. Whether a person drinks every day or only on weekends, drinks shots of liquor or just drinks beer or wine, what matters most is what happens when they drink. If your drinking is causing problems at home, at work, physically, financially, emotionally or legally, it is time to get help.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription medications and some over-the-counter medications are increasingly being used in ways other than intended or without a prescription. This practice can lead to addiction, and in some cases, overdose. Among the most disturbing aspects of this emerging trend is its prevalence among teenagers and young adults, as well as the common misconception that because these are used medically or prescribed by physicians, they are safe, even when not used as intended. Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioid painkillers, stimulants and depressants.