Substance abuse is a serious illness that causes pain and turmoil for the addict as well as those who love them. Countless people seek help from drug and alcohol counselors each year and, with long-term treatment, many become sober and recover to live happy and healthy lives. White Spruce Counseling in Rochester, NY, provides premier mental health and substance abuse counseling. Here, they explain the causes of this issue and how professionals can help.
What Causes Substance Addiction?
Addiction isn’t a choice; it’s a mental illness, a compulsive and chronic disorder. Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction, and many have a family history of substance abuse. However, it is not the fault of their parents or other family members.
Once a person begins using drugs or alcohol, their brain chemistry can change, producing a cycle of addiction. Most narcotics produce a sense of euphoria and flood the brain with dopamine. Typically, the brain’s “reward circuit” motivates a person to thrive by eating, socializing, and exercising. Surges of dopamine produced by drugs, however, encourage the individual to continue taking it. Over time, the body adapts by lessening the brain cells’ responsiveness to the substance, meaning the person must consume more to achieve the same high. In this way, the addict may not be able to derive pleasure from other activities they once enjoyed.
How Can a Drug & Alcohol Counselor Help?
Substance abuse treatment is performed by a team of professionals who work together to ensure the patient recovers. The drug and alcohol counselor is one member of the group who helps the patient achieve and maintain abstinence and recognize the importance and reward of sobriety and recovery. The counselor assists through every step of the recovery process and determines what factors contributed to the development of the addiction. They also impart healthy coping mechanisms to handle issues such as stress, depression, and other triggers which tempt addicts to relapse.
If you have a loved one with a substance abuse problem, turn to the compassionate drug and alcohol counselors at White Spruce Counseling for help. Their professionals are nationally accredited with over 25 years of experience treating patients for substance abuse. They understand that no two people’s stories are alike and treat each patient as an individual, not a stereotype. When you refer a loved one to the facility, they will receive the comprehensive support and care they need to achieve and maintain abstinence and build a new and healthier life. For more information about how they can assist, call (585) 424-2436 or visit the website.