Signs you are enabling an addict

Signs you are enabling an addict

Often times when people close to an addict try to “help” them, what they are actually doing is allowing the progression of the disease. These family and friends of the addict do not know this is what they are doing. This unknown and baffling phenomenon is called enabling. Enabling takes many forms but they all have the same effect: they allow the addict to avoid the consequences of their drug use and drinking. This, as a result, allows the addict to continue on their merry way, secure with the knowledge that no matter how much they screw up, someone will always be there to save them from their mistakes.

So if you think you are enabling an addict, how do you know?

It is important when looking for signs you are enabling an addict to know the difference between enabling and helping. Knowing the difference between enabling and helping an addict is the first step to recognizing the signs.

So what is helping? Helping is doing something for someone that they are not capable of doing themselves.

What is enabling? Enabling is doing for someone things that they could, and should be doing themselves. The key word there most of the time is the “should”. Many addicts may not be capable of doing things for themselves but often times those things are things they should be able to do. Doing those things they should be able to do on their own is enabling.

So what are the signs you are an enabling an addict?

After realizing the difference between helping and enabling you can probably think of a few signs you are enabling without this post. But we are going to go ahead and give you some of the most common signs that you are enabling an addict.

  1. You call in sick to work for them because they were too tired or hung over. This is classic enabling at its best. There is no reason any other person should be calling work for the addict. That is something they can and should be doing.
  2. Bailing them out of jail or paying their legal fees. This is another very common sign that you are enabling an addict. Once again paying fees and landing in jail are consequences they should be facing and can deal with.
  3. You don’t talk to them about their drug use because you are afraid of their response. An addict should be dealing and have to recognize the way they are affecting you and everyone around them. Don’t hold back out of fear. This is just allowing the behavior to go on.
  4. Loaning money. This is so common in people who are enabling an addict. You want to help so the addict doesn’t starve but the truth is they are probably just using the money to get high. An addict is capable of feeding themselves and should be doing just that. So even if they claim to be starving do not give them money.
  5. You threaten to leave and then don’t leave. Empty threats just reinforce to the addict that they can get away with whatever behavior they are acting out in. This is enabling them to continue on doing what they are doing with the assurance that you will still be there and that even if you threaten it means nothing. Stick by your word no matter how hard it is!

These are some of the most common signs you are enabling an addict. Remember that it may seem really hard to not want to save the addict but you have to remember that you are not saving them you are allowing them to continue hurting themselves. So actually when you do these things you are fueling their addiction. You may not be able to stand the sight of them hungry or in jail but just trust me when I say it is when they have to face those things that they will finally see what a problem they have. It is easy to deny a problem when you never go hungry or have to face consequences. Stop enabling and when the addict asks for help (to go to treatment) be there.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of PTSD and phobias, but exposure therapy is also used in addiction treatment. Exposure therapy in addiction treatment works the same way it does when it is used to treat PTSD and phobias.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment, just like when it is used for patients with PTSD, is intended to help the patient face and gain control of their addiction. The way exposure therapy in addiction treatment does this is by literally exposing the addict or alcoholic to certain fears, triggers, traumas and stressors. Exposure therapy is done carefully so as not to flood the patient but rather build up to the most severe stressors. The point of this exposure therapy is to desensitize the addict or alcoholic to potential stressors and triggers.

There are many studies that point towards alcoholics and addicts having automatic responses to cues such as seeing as alcohol or places they may have used. Much like when someone who is hungry sees food wants to eat they believe that the alcoholic responds to alcohol in the same way. So in order to combat this exposure therapy in addiction treatment, literally exposes the alcoholic to cues that would normally create a response or want to drink in the alcoholic and gives the alcoholic or addict coping methods or techniques to use to combat and eventually no longer respond in the old way they used to.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment is a very new concept that doesn’t have a lot of proof of effectiveness to back it up. The rates of relapse after someone has been through exposure therapy have not been studied. While exposure therapy for PTSD has been effective for the treatment of trauma and stress there has been no proof that it will work in addiction treatment. In fact, exposure therapy in addiction treatment could end up having the opposite effect, instead of helping actually hurting the alcoholic.

In one study this is what they had to say about exposure therapy in addiction treatment:

“There continues to be little evidence for the superior efficacy of Cue Exposure Therapy (CET) over other forms of substance abuse treatment. However, it should be emphasized that the efficacy trials did not find CET to be ineffective; indeed CET subjects improved significantly from baseline, though these improvements did not differ from the other active treatment conditions.”

And of course there are all the other problems that anyone who is in the addiction treatment field knows: “Studies investigating Cue Exposure Therapy continue to be challenged by a number of methodological problems, including small sample sizes, high dropout rates, lack of objective measures of substance use and lack of procedures for preventing substance use between extinction sessions.”

The truth about addiction and alcoholism most likely is that any kind of addiction treatment is better than no treatment at all. But when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction, in my opinion, how can you possibly expect an alcoholic to want to stop drinking by exposing them to things that make them want to drink; even with the better tools to cope with it etc.


Online therapist for alcohol addiction

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

An online therapist for alcohol addiction sounds like a great idea, but is it really? Yes, an online therapist may be convenient and in some instances cheap, but are you really getting the quality of therapy you may need to treat something as serious as an alcohol addiction. It all really depends on how much therapy is needed and the severity of your alcohol addiction. An evaluation of your alcohol addiction will definitely need to be done in order to determine if this very light level of care will work for you. Such an evaluation can be done online, leading to recommendations for the appropriate treatment.

So who can use or benefit from an online therapist for alcohol addiction help?

People who are already involved in any stage (intensive outpatient, continuing care, aftercare) of traditional treatment program or have completed any stage of a traditional treatment program can use online therapy as a way supplement their treatment.

So what is wrong with an online therapist for alcohol addiction?

1. By its nature, online therapy can be interrupted by technological difficulties beyond the control of either the counselor or the client, for instance, a storm or just a random modem problem. Is your mental health really going to rely on an internet connection? Before services are provided, the client will be given suggestions for alternative methods for contacting the online therapist should disruptions in the client’s service occur (for ex., a public library). The online therapist should pledge that should technical difficulties result from his/her personal computer or other internet access the online therapist will have alternative internet access readily available.

2. The visual and auditory cues available during face-to-face online therapy are, of course, not available in internet counseling. Therefore, it is vital that both the client and the online therapist be diligent in seeking clarification of any communications, as needed. And making sure that everything is well understood and talked about.

3. The online therapist for alcohol addictions must at the outset of the online therapeutic relationship help the client to identify local therapists and other treatment providers, including crisis services in the event of an emergency. Most of the time therapists give their phone number to clients or clients can rush to see them should something happen. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction there is no personal connection like that in the event something goes wrong in the client’s life.

4. The online therapist for alcohol addiction must include safeguards to keep client information confidential and protected from unauthorized access. This is always an unknown when using the Internet. Client information, including history, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and progress notes, should be for the online therapist’s eyes only. No one else must have access to this information. The information should be retained on a safeguarded CD for one year after the online therapy relationship has ended, or for a longer or shorter period of time dictated by the client.

Therapy is very much a relationship between the therapist and client. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction that relationship is not nearly as strong or as helpful for either one. You would never have a romantic relationship entirely based online for years or even months. So why do the same with a therapist? Online therapists for alcohol addiction may be a great last resort for those who just need a little extra advice here and there but for someone who is really depending on therapy this sounds like a terrible idea

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Treatment for addiction and alcoholism uses many different therapeutic approaches in order to achieve lasting sobriety for any and all people wanting to get sober. The therapies used in the treatment of addiction and alcoholism should cover two of the most important issues for an individual in recovery, post-acute withdrawal syndrome and denial. One of the most common therapies used for addiction is Individual Therapy. Individual therapy for addiction is said to give an individual the best change at staying sober one day at a time. Individual therapy allows a person to discuss, internalize, and develop critical skills that will be required to maintain sobriety for the rest of their life.

Individual therapy for addiction helps the individual work on skills such as:

Avoidance Skills – Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict or alcohol begin to understand what types of people, places and things to avoid as a part of relapse prevention. Avoiding anything that triggers them is vital to them staying sober.

Refusal Skills -Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict or alcoholic begin to develop the ability to say no to any situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is because individual therapy helps alcoholics and addicts develop confidence within themselves.

Coping Skills – Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict and alcoholic find new coping skills to stressful situations. Human beings are under constant stress and for newly recovering alcoholics and addicts this can be doubly so. Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict and alcoholic learn how to deal with daily stress without using.

Assertive Skills – Individual therapy for addiction teaches an addict and alcoholic to ask for what they need. Asking for help and making their voice heard is imperative to staying sober. This can be hard for addicts and alcoholics who have little to no self-esteem initially. Individual therapy helps them to find their worth and develop a better sense of self-esteem so they can ask for what they need.

Individual therapy for addiction really helps a person change negative thoughts and behaviors by exploring them and then individual therapy for addiction also helps change the underlying concepts that cause those thoughts and behaviors. For those with a dual diagnosis, for instance, depression as well as substance abuse, individual therapy for addiction may be used in accordance with a medication. Individual therapy is a way for addicts and alcoholics to lay out all their negative stuff and find newer and more positive ways of dealing with everything from the past, present to the future. Individual therapy for addiction works well for addicts and alcoholics because what is done is specific to each individual person and is not a broad therapy that encompasses general aspects. Individual therapy for addiction works on each unique person’s needs and goals so they can accomplish what they truly want more than anything else and that is long term sobriety.

By utilizing the tools given in individual therapy for addiction an addict and alcoholic will be on much better footing to not only recognize their relapse warning signs, move past post-acute withdrawal but also to step out of the fog of denial about their disease.


Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substance-induced psychotic disorder

Substance-induced psychotic disorder is basically psychosis brought on by the abuse of drugs and alcohol. It usually features hallucinations or delusions that are judged to be due to the direct effects of a substance.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Causes

Many drugs of abuse can cause substance-induced psychotic disorder. These include alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids and sedative hypnotics like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Many prescription medications and over the counter medications can cause it too. These include anesthetics, analgesics, anticholinergic agents, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, cardiovascular medications, antimicrobial medications, antiparkinsonian medications, chemotherapeutic agents, corticosteroids, gastrointestinal medications, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and anti-depressants.

Not all cases of substance-induced psychotic disorder occur as a result of substance abuse. Sometimes people (especially small children) ingest toxic substances by accident. Other times, people are exposed to toxins and don’t even know it (such as when someone gets food poisoning at a restaurant). Alternatively, people may take too much of a legitimately prescribed medication, medicines may interact in unforeseen ways, or doctors may miscalculate the effects of medicines they prescribed.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Criteria

For a person to be diagnosed with substance-induced psychotic disorder, they have to exhibit certain criteria. The first criterion is that the psychotic disorder features prominent hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech or behavior, or catatonia. Secondly, the psychotic symptoms must be due to the direct effect of a substance. This can be a drug of abuse or a toxin. Hallucinations that the person realizes are brought on by the substance are not included, because these are diagnosed as substance intoxication or withdrawal. The third criterion is that the disturbance is not better accounted for by a different psychotic disorder. The fourth criterion is that the symptoms do not only occur during the course of a delirium. Only when the symptoms exceed normal intoxication or withdrawal is the individual deemed to have substance-abuse psychotic disorder.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Difficulty

Sometimes it is very difficult to diagnose substance-induced psychotic disorder. If a person has a psychotic episode while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to determine if the symptoms go above and beyond the normal signs of intoxication. Similarly, when a person is withdrawal, they may suffer psychotic symptoms that are due to the withdrawal process and aren’t substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Further complicating the matter is that many drugs exacerbate or trigger an underlying mental condition. It can be difficult to determine whether the symptoms of psychosis are due to substance-induced psychotic disorder or whether the drugs and alcohol just set off a mental disorder that was already present.

The strongest predictors of substance-induced psychotic disorder are a family history of psychosis, trauma history and current cannabis dependence. These traits can sometimes help doctors differentiate between primary psychosis and substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Treatment

Treatment involves relieving the intoxicated condition under medical observation to control withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes treatment means medical management of a continuing withdrawal process. If these treatments are not successful, then usually the diagnoses changes to primary psychosis.



Sex Addiction Therapy

Sex Addiction Therapy

Sex Addiction Therapy

Sex Addiction Therapy

Sex addiction is used to describe a person or behavior that is characterized by an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. With a sex addiction, sex tends to dominate the person’s thinking which makes it difficult for them to have healthy relationships. Someone with a sex addiction will also seek out sex regardless of negative consequences and engages in distorted thinking usually rationalizing or justifying their behavior. Sex addicts are in the grip of a progressive cycle which usually starts with the individual thinking about sex, doing whatever it takes to get sexual release and then feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards leading them into a more downward spiral.

That is why there is sex addiction therapy. Sex addiction therapy begins with the sex addict admitting that they have a problem. In order for a person to benefit from sex addiction therapy they must accept and admit that they have an issue with sex. Usually this takes a significant event such as losing job, losing a marriage, an arrest, or health crisis. These kinds of events may help a sex addict to seek out sex addiction therapy.

Sex addiction therapy focuses mainly on controlling the addictive behavior. Sex addiction therapy helps the individual develop a healthy sexuality. This can be tricky because thinking about sex and a little bit of obsession about sex can be somewhat normal. In fact the act of having sex itself is a part of human nature so it can be hard for sex addicts to determine what is healthy and what is not. Sex addiction therapy therefore tries to help the sex addict learn and determine what healthy sexuality is and what it isn’t.

Sex addiction therapy includes multiple different approaches that include every aspect of the addicts’ life. Sex addiction therapies such as healthy sexuality, individual counseling, marital and/or family therapy. A lot of the times as a part of sex addiction therapy it is recommended that the sex addict attend 12 step meetings specifically for those with a sex addiction. These 12 step groups are known as Sex Addicts Anonymous or SA. These are available all over the country just as AA groups are.

The difference with sex addiction therapy and drug therapy is that sex addiction therapy is not trying to achieve the goal of long term abstinence from sex like drug therapy would want abstinence from drugs. Actually sex addiction therapy’s goal is to get rid of the compulsive and unhealthy sexual behavior. Understanding emotional cues and circumstances that trigger sexual thought and sexual behavior is a part of that. Sex addiction therapy will also work on the issue of facing the guilt, shame and depression that is so common in sex addicts. Working through these emotional consequences of having a sex addiction is a big step towards recovery.

Sex addiction therapy may also in some cases use medication to treat depression or the obsessive and compulsive disorder associated with it. Medications such as Prozac and Anafranil. In most cases if medication is recommended it is in accordance with other methods of sex addiction therapy.