Substance And Process Addictions

When we think of addictions what normally comes to mind are substance-related addictions, such as alcohol or drugs. However, often equally debilitating and damaging to relationships are the process addictions: gambling, pornography, sex addiction, internet, and shopping. While the process addictions are not currently recognized as "diagnosable" illnesses by the medical community, including the American Psychological Association who publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which catagorizes all currently recognized mental disorders that require clinical attention, these addictions are nonetheless very serious and treatable by mental health professionals.

Alcohol and drug addiction can destroy one's health, livelihood, relationships, and entire family systems if allowed to progress. Similarly, gambling, pornography, or another process addiction can be just as damaging. Even the individual's physical health can be severely affected by process addictions subsequent to the extreme stress he or she may be feeling as a result of his or her addiction, which will ultimately take a toll on the physical health: The Mind and the Body are a unit and accumulated, unresolved stress can negatively impact both the body and the mind.

Nicotine is a powerful and highly addictive substance that is well known to cause serious health issues, even death. It is a known fact that tobacco companies often find a way to target children (think: "Joe Camel") to procure a steady stream of "replacement smokers" to make up for the adults who have either quit or died. Because of strict laws in the U.S. regulating tobacco advertising, a huge push has been made by tobacco companies to market their products in Third World countries where there is currently less available knowledge regarding the hazards of smoking and few, if any, laws restricting advertising. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive, whether it is in the form or cigarettes or "chew" and, once someone starts smoking or chewing tobacco, it is very difficult to quit. Some studies have found nicotine to be as addictive as heroin.

At Stress Management Counseling Center we have experienced Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LCADC) who can help you with whatever substance or process you are struggling with as well as help you restore health and balance to your life, livelihood, and relationships. Granted, it IS hard to quit--if it wasn't, there would be no one struggling with a substance or process addiction! But, help and recovery is possible if you take the first step and call for an appointment. You will not be judged; you will not be pushed--we will work with you at your pace, one step at a time.

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