Addictions are powerful, yet destructive. They have built-in rewards and immediate results that make them hard to break. Steven Unruh works with individuals with addictions on a weekly basis.
Addiction is an uncontrolled search for gratification through a relationship with a substance or activity to the exclusion of other more diverse life experiences.
The substance or activity, with which the addict forms a relationship, varies with each person.
The addictive quest for pleasure has some defining characteristics. Many addictions aim to increase arousal. This is the all-powerful feeling that might come from cocaine, amphetamines, the first few drinks of alcohol, shoplifting, sexual acting out or gambling.
This feeling of omnipotence, however, is undermined when the addict realizes that a dependency has been formed.
A feeling of fear replaces the feeling of being all-powerful – fear of losing the source of addiction and fear that others will find out how powerless and inadequate they really feel.
Negative experiences always accompany the positive feelings the addict is seeking. Sometimes an addiction is coupled with a personality disorder, such as an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Usually the treatment for OCD requires medication.
Addictions have a biological component.
Success with an addiction is seen when someone is willing to change, attends 12 step groups, has an accountability partner, grows spiritually, gets weekly psychotherapy and explores with a doctor whether medication is appropriate.
Addictions are a replacement of a real need.
It is impossible to have a real, lasting and meaningful relationship with and addict ! Their drug takes precedence over people.
Even a person who is addicted to pornography. They are on-line for hours a day, which adds up to hours and hours each week, wasting time and money, to the detriment of their family and job. They hide their real pain through activities that become destructive. Only when an addict can admit they their life is “out – of –control’’, will they be able to find healthy and legitimate ways of beginning the process to heal.
There is hope – Addiction Counseling.