Is your life controlled by addiction? Do you find yourself constantly craving or seeking drugs and alcohol to help cope with day-to-day stress?
Do not let drugs and alcohol rule your life. I can help you find freedom.
Addictions very common in the United States, particularly here in Virginia. Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 12 or older had used illicit drugs within the last 30 days of being surveyed (“How Many Americans Are Addicted to Drugs?,” 2018). Addictions represent a major issue in America, and the access to addictive substances makes this problem one that will likely continue. This problem affects users, families, and communities across the nation.
Although most think of drugs and alcohol when it comes to addiction, the issue can alsobe behavioral or emotional. Addictions are rooted in the reward center of the brain, as the addictive behavior or substance feels good and the brain learns to rely on that feeling (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This deeply neurological basis for these disorders makes the battle against addiction is a difficult one. Yet, overcoming addiction can lead to restored functioning, renewed relationships, and an empowered and healthy life.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines the various types of addiction disorders, and they are categorized as:
- Alcohol-Related Disorders
- Caffeine-Related Disorders
- Cannabis-Related Disorders
- Hallucinogen-Related Disorders
- Inhalant-Related Disorders
- Opioid-Related Disorders
- Sedative-, Hypnotic-, or Anxiolytic-Related Disorders
- Stimulant-Related Disorders
- Tobacco-Related Disorders
- Non-Substance Related Disorders
- Gambling Disorder
All of these disorders are measured on a sliding scale of severity, and many of these disorders co-occur as more than one substance is taken simultaneously. Often, these addictions provide feelings of reward, but also may help people to escape from life’s difficulties. This creates deeper feelings of depression and anxiety, thereby feeding and worsening the addiction. This cycle can be life altering and incredibly damaging to oneself and others.
What are the most common symptoms of Addiction?
Early identification of an addiction can greatly aid the recovery process. Addiction can be often traced to a specific behavior or use of a substance that leads to dysfunction in one’s life.
Some of the most common symptoms of these disorders include (DSM-V):
- An intense desire or craving to use the substance or repeat the behavior
- Social, occupational, or recreational activities are lessened or given up as a result of substance use or the behavior
- A great deal of time is spent in activities surrounding the substance or behavior
- May take substance or repeat behavior when feeling distressed
- Tolerance as shown by a need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the previous effect
- Withdrawal marked by unpleasant symptoms after lessening use of the substance
Addiction can feel a lot like a cycle. As your brain discovers the pleasure of a substance or behavior, it creates create a pattern of wanting to indulge to feel that pleasure again. Many people feel as though they have less control, less willpower or ability to change. This is why many people will attempt to quit, only to later relapse and feel even less control. These moments of relapse can even rekindle the desire for pleasure and make it difficult to attempt recovery again (Baumeister & Nadal, 2017).
How can I overcome an Addiction?
It may feel like your life is no longer under your control.
As you become more and more disconnected with family, friends, and your passions as a result of your addiction, life becomes solely about the drugs or alcohol. Addictions are all-consuming. They take up more room in your life where things that were important to you used to reside.
You have the control to take back power over your life and do what is important to you. Therapy can be helpful as you learn ways to overcome your cravings and feel supported as you make this meaningful life change. Addiction may be biological, but it is also behavioral, emotional, and social. I know that we can work together to change your life, and overcome this addiction that is holding you back from the life you want.
How Can Paula L. Marcolin Help?
Battling an addiction can feel like a daunting task. Let me join you on your journey and support you every step of the way. At Integrative Holistic Therapy, I can help you find the tools you need to overcome addiction and take back control of your life.
I am a psychotherapist in private practice with 20+ years working experience in the field of mental health and have been in private practice for nine years. I work with individuals (adults & adolescents), couples, and group. My credentials include a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University graduating with Honors, and I am a member of Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor Association. In addition, I have over two years experience in facilitating court-ordered groups for domestic violence, anger management, and substance abuse and am certified in The Stage Page: An effective tool to help individuals create healthy relationships.
I believe in holistic care of every individual and attempt to infuse hope into the lives of every person with which I meet.
I believe you have the ability to make lasting changes in your life.
Interested in Connecting? Contact me!
If you are interested in therapy, please contact me using the information at the top of my webpage. I am excited to discuss what therapy could look like for you. Schedule an appointment with me today! I am eager to connect with you!
More about Integrative Holistic Therapy
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Take a look at my About Me page to learn more!
My office is based in Leesburg, Virginia and I love to connect with individuals and couples in my community.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Baumeister, R. F., & Nadal, A. C. (2017). Addiction: Motivation, action control, and habits of pleasure. Motivation Science, 3(3), 179–195. https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000069
Ghitza, U. E. (2017). Commentary: Addictions neuroclinical assessment: A neuroscience-based framework for addictive disorders. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8.
How Many Americans Are Addicted to Drugs? (2018). Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.promises.com/resources/overdose/many-americans-addicted-drugs/