Substance use


Research indicates that the vast majority of people addicted to drugs or alcohol have an underlying mental health condition or significant emotional/psychological difficulty. Substance addiction is more than a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. The individuals often are at high risk for relapse even after detox treatment. Psychological and social factors such as life stressors, friends, family, or living environment can be powerful triggers that lead to relapse. Substance use can lead to substance dependence or addiction when both the amount of substance used and the rate of use increase. People who experience drug or alcohol addiction feel unable to control the impulse to use, and they often experience withdrawal symptoms in the sudden absence of the substance. Some people deny or are unaware that they have a problem with addiction, and sometimes a person’s substance dependency and abuse remains hidden from their loved ones.

Signs of chemical dependence include:

  • Increasing tolerance, or the needing more of the substance to reach the altered state.

  • Seeking the company of other users and cutting off social ties with non-users.

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the substance.

  • Requiring the substance throughout the day.

  • Dismissing or resenting expressions of concern from loved ones, failing to meet obligations.

  • Binging, using heavily, for many hours or several days.

  • Hiding use from family and friends.

Therapists who specialize in addiction recovery can often help people dealing with addiction to work on the underlying issues and set achievable and empowering goals.

Next step: If you are ready to let go of your addiction, it is time to schedule a discussion with a licensed therapist. Here is a link to schedule a 20 minutes initial consultation at no cost and check if we are a good fit. You can also call me at 713-894-0146 or send an email to