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ADDICTION
When You Lose the Excuses, You Will Achieve Results

Sharon, a 55 year old female, looked tired and disheveled the day we first met. She told me she was struggling with a myriad of symptoms including poor sleep, anxiety, depression, brain fog and relationship conflict. Sharon had been coping with these symptoms for several years on her own. At first, she would push through her work day with the promise of happy hour at the end of the day. Even though she’d never been much of a drinker, she found happy hour with her colleagues to be a particularly pleasant respite from the stress of her work day and a way to avoid going home where increasing conflict with her husband was waiting. After a few months of daily happy hours though, she reasoned that a cocktail at lunch would offer her even more relief from the stressors in her life. One cocktail at lunch quickly turned into two, then three, then one fateful Wednesday, turned into more cocktails than she could remember. When she returned to the office to finish out the day, she was clearly intoxicated, prompting an invitation to speak with her HR representative who told her to take some time off and call her employee assistance program to help her “get some help.” Sharon was ashamed and overwhelmed and now sitting in my office asking for help.

Sharon agreed to individual therapy sessions once a week along with marriage therapy sessions biweekly with her husband. She agreed to start medication to help reduce her anxiety and depression symptoms and to help decrease her alcohol cravings. She didn’t get better overnight. She had several relapses into excessive alcohol use and for a time, she and her husband separated. However, Sharon wasn’t one to give up easily and she kept coming back and facing her setbacks head on, each time. She was honest with herself and her treatment team. And she got better, one day at a time. Now Sharon is back to work full time, has a “better relationship with my husband than I’ve ever imagined was possible” and volunteers two nights a week at a local residential treatment home for young women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Self-Test For Substance Abuse and Addiction

1

DRUG ABUSE

Do you feel like you need to use the drug daily?

1

DRUG ABUSE

Do you do things you wouldn’t normally do, in order to get drugs?

1

DRUG ABUSE

Do you make sure you have a steady supply of your drug of choice on hand?

1

DRUG ABUSE

Do you want to stop using, but can’t?

1

DRUG ABUSE

Do you feel you need drugs to function?

1

DRUG ABUSE

Are you willing to do something dangerous while taking drugs, like driving a car?

1

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you think you have a problem with alcohol?

2

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you lose time from work or school due to drinking?

3

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Has your drinking affected your relationships with friends?

4

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you feel depressed or ashamed after drinking alcohol?

5

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink because you are anxious or nervous in social situations?

6

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink alcohol to improve your self-confidence?

7

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink when you are alone?

8

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink to escape from your daily life?

9

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Have people in your life expressed concern over your drinking habits?

10

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Are you more social and fun to be around when you drink?

11

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Have you experienced financial troubles over buying alcohol?

12

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Have you lost friends because of your alcohol use?

13

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink more than most of your friends?

14

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Do you drink until you can’t drink anymore?

15

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Have you ever had a complete loss of memory or a blackout from drinking?

16

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Have you ever been to a hospital, received a DUI or been arrested due to drunken behavior?

If you answered YES to 3 or more of the following questions, you may be suffering from a substance use disorder or addiction and should speak with a professional about your symptoms.

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What WellPsyche Patients Are Saying

“I had been an alcoholic for years when I found WellPsyche. I didn’t have big expectations but the medication my provider put me on has changed my life. I don’t want to drink any more. It’s the weirdest thing. I go to AA meetings every week but it’s more so I can better understand the issues I have despite my drinking, not because of it.”

Mark, age 52

“I’m a nurse and a few years ago, I started using pain medication. At first it was to help my chronic back pain, but then I started using it to relax, to feel good, then to avoid withdrawal symptoms. My nursing supervisor eventually figured out what was going on and I ended up in a diversion program for nurses who get addicted to drugs. It was one of the lowest points of my life. I’m really grateful for the people who helped me heal from my addiction. It was hard but I’m happy to say I’ve been sober for 8 months now and I’m back to working full time as a nurse.”

Elaina, age 34

“I was smoking weed 4 to 5 times a day and my life was not going well. I was depressed and thought the weed was helping my depression. My provider helped me to understand the negative effects that my constant use of cannabis was causing and helped me find a better way to treat my depression.”

Shawn, age 40

Did You Know?

MANY famous and highly successful people have been diagnosed with Addiction including Drew Barrymore, Actress, Robert Downey Jr., Actor, Johnny Depp, Actor, Eminem, Rapper, Songwriter, Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur, CEO, television personality, Judy Garland, Singer, actress, vaudevillian, Stephen King, Author, just to name a few.

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You Are Not Alone. We Are Here To Help.

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