Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine
“When you can stop, you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t. That’s addiction.”
Whether you call it drug and alcohol abuse, dependence, addiction, or “maybe just something to watch,” it can become a problem quickly and tear families apart.
At Life Healing Counseling, we believe in helping people before something becomes a problem and before a family, or person, is in crisis. It is a myth that someone must be in real trouble or hit “a rock bottom,” before they get help. Here are some other common myths:
Myths about substance use:
MYTH: If you only use on weekends or once or twice a week, it’s not a problem. Addiction only depends on how often, when, and how much you use. Also, if you can perform well at work, take good care of children, or are healthy and workout, you don’t have an issue with substances. Kids who make good grades, are into sports, class President, on honor roll and going to a great college don’t have substance problems.
FACT: Addiction, like a person, is individualized. How it may be presenting in your life is personal to you. While some people can drink, others can’t, and some can moderately. A professional can help assess and truly determine if something is a problem or if it may just be heading that way. Sometimes, simply increasing awareness around certain behaviors can be preventative.
MYTH: “Natural” drugs like cannabis, mushrooms or peyote aren’t addictive and are safer than other drugs.
FACT: While these may be natural, they are all mind-altering and impact brain chemistry. Hallucinogens can cause psychosis in people without a genetic predisposition.
Cannabis is highly addictive, can cause schizophrenia and psychotic episodes in people who may be more susceptible and not yet diagnosed. Regular cannabis use is also linked to increased anxiety and depression. Just because a drug grows in the ground, does not mean there won’t be consequential side effects. We never really know how a substance will impact an individual user.
MYTH: Addicted people are usually poor, homeless, and dangerous.
FACT: Addicted people are our children, teachers, neighbors, mothers, brothers, grandparents, religious leaders, and friends. Addiction does not discriminate.
MYTH: If children don’t see us using or drinking, it’s not a problem, especially if they’re young, or we only do it once they’re sleeping. Substances that are locked up or hidden from kids are not a problem.
FACT: Learning how parents and loved one’s model behaviors, and how we may be missing safety issues in our own homes is about communication and addiction prevention.
Let us help determine the reality of what’s happening in your life and if there is a problem, or if a little education and awareness is needed to prevent a true crisis.