Chemical Dependence

Alcohol and drug addictions are progressive diseases that can shatter lives.

A chemically dependent person is unable to stop drinking or using a mood-altering chemical despite serious emotional, health, economic, legal, spiritual, and social consequences. When a person is chemically dependent, they have lost the power of choice over using mood altering chemicals. Some individuals are able to stop using for a while, but most need professional help to stop for life.

Denial is a defense mechanism that reduces awareness of the fact that alcohol and drug use is the cause of the individual’s problems. Typically, an addict is the last to admit that they have a problem. Though chemical dependency cannot be cured, it can be treated and kept in remission. In order to maintain abstinence, one must make personal, interpersonal, and lifestyle changes. These things take time and recovery is often a life-long process.

Are you concerned that you may need to seek treatment for a substance abuse problem? Some of the signs that might indicate that you have a problem include:

• Trying to quit using or use less and failing at it
• Blackouts or loss of memory
• Using the substance while alone or hiding the evidence
• Doing things while “under the influence” that you may try to hide later
• Not being able to enjoy an event without the substance
• Using a lot more than others at a social event
• Neglecting responsibilities in order to use the substance
• Friends, family, and co-workers start to express concern about your substance abuse
• Being willing to do almost anything to get the substance
• Financial or legal problems as a result of the substance.

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol or drugs, Health and Wellness Group can perform a professional assessment and provide appropriate treatment.