Drug and Alcohol Problems
Including Other Addictions and Recovery
Alcohol and drugs affect people differently. For some, drinking and using may be easy to control or maintain. For others, dependency and addiction can begin with the first exposure to something, or can develop slowly, over time. Similar to the way substances can affect people, for some it may be impossible to control the frequency and extent of certain behaviors, such as eating or sex. All of these may be different manifestations of the influence of addiction.
If you are concerned that addiction may be influencing you more than you would like, there are actions or steps you can take. Seek help from a mental health professional, or try out a self-help or 12-step group meeting. Talk to friends that you trust and solicit their input. Drugs, alcohol, and certain behaviors can seem to help with life’s problems in the short term, but they may ultimately become a problem themselves. A tendency to be influenced by addiction is believed by many to be physiologically-based, and possibly hereditary. It is most often thought to be a question not of willpower but of biology.
I have worked with clients who were questioning whether they had a problem with substance use, others whose goal was to control the amount and frequency of their use, and still others who had years of recovery from use. I have also worked with clients to overcome the influence of addiction over their use of food, sex, and relationships. If you are motivated to make changes, therapy can help you to shift the way and amount you use of a drug or substance, or the extent to which you engage in unwanted behaviors. Therapy can also help you to explore the extent to which addiction may be influencing your choices.
Links related to Addiction and Recovery:
- A list of resources, questions, meetings, etc. in the SF Bay Area. Includes questions to help determine if alcohol is influencing you or someone you love in addictive ways; special notes for teenagers; and newsletters.
- The site for LifeRing, a program to find sobriety that is not 12-step based.
- Gay & Lesbian resources for recovery.
- Resources for anyone trying to shift their relationship with crystal meth.
- Al-Anon & Alateen information for Northern California. These organizations are for anyone who is affected by someone else’s drinking or use, such as friends or family members.