Drug and alcohol abuse is an epidemic in our society. It starts innocently enough. We want to feel relief from pain. Many people turn to alcohol and drugs to get high, to escape from their feelings. Others just want to feel normal and feel like everyone else. We never intend to become addicted.

What begins innocently can become a severe issue that destroys relationships, families, physical health and more. Pleading with the addict to stop or pointing out consequences of their actions typically does not get the addict to stop. Only the addict can admit to a problem and be willing to change.

Those who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse tend to also suffer from an addict personality. Some characteristics of that personality are: denial, blaming, unwilling to take responsibility, deflection and anger. Addicts suffer from distorted thinking that makes it difficult to get help until the addict hits some kind of bottom.

The disease of addiction is a progressive disease, meaning if left untreated, it only gets worse. Stopping substance use is the first step but sobriety is the key to real change and full drug and alcohol abuse recovery. Sobriety is abstinence plus deep work on yourself that examines the defects of character that the addict has. Sobriety allows the addict to address underlying personality issues that led to using in the first place.

Recovery from substance use and dependence is possible. I have worked in an outpatient center for chemical dependency as well as a high-end treatment center in Malibu. I know recovery is achievable.

Addiction is a family disease so I recommend that partners, spouses and/or children of alcoholics and addicts also be involved in treatment such as Al-Anon.

Drug and alcohol abuse recovery is possible through addiction therapy and help is available. Getting help is essential for your livelihood, your relationships, and your health.