Substance-related and addictive disorders range from alcohol and stimulants to gambling. Additional high risk, addictive behaviors include social media, gaming, and pornography. These all activate the brain’s pleasure center – resulting in a release of dopamine. There are four stages of addiction: experimentation, misuse, abuse, and dependence. Each stage presents different challenges, and therefore, requires different responses.
Signs and symptoms of substance use include:
- Feeling of exhilaration and excess confidence
- Increased alertness, energy, and/or restlessness
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Drastic changes to eating/sleeping patterns
- Rapid or rambling speech
- Dilated pupils
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Involvement in criminal activity
If you or a loved one has experienced any of the above symptoms and behaviors, it may be time to consider therapy.
In therapy, we can collaborate to identify triggers and coping skills. As your Therapist, I will address the symptoms and related areas of impaired functioning. Whether your goal is to reduce substance use or achieve sobriety, we can discuss harm reduction and/or create a relapse prevention plan.
Contact me today to learn more.