Substance abuse of any kind can feel like it’s taking over your life, whether it’s your own use or someone else’s. It can feel like you lost who you once were or who your loved one once was.
When someone is dealing with an addiction or problematic use of alcohol or drugs, it can be very disruptive to all aspects of their life. You may notice a lack of motivation, decrease in performance at work or at school, moods shifting up and down rapidly, combative communication, and losing interest in things once loved. These changes in your loved one leave you feeling very hurt and grieving a loss.
You may notice people who are close to you and your loved one are handling the issues in opposing ways, creating more conflict in your life.
For those dealing with substance use or dependence issues, it can feel very shameful to talk about their problems. People struggle to reach out for help or share their experience in fear of being judged or misunderstood.
As a parent or loved one of someone dealing with substance abuse struggles, you may want to address the issue, but feel that it is so emotionally charged that you’re not getting anywhere. You provide education and resources, working to lead them in the right direction, only to be met with pushback or having this person pull away from you.
Maybe this is a topic that you don’t know a lot about and need more help understanding so that you can support your friend, partner, parent, sibling or teen.
Or, it may be the case that someone in your life is misunderstanding your use and making you feel like you have a problem.
With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, we have seen a rise in substance abuse issues across the board. This change has been particularly noticeable with teenagers and young adults. With mental health issues increasing in conjunction to more access to these substances, you may feel powerless trying to fight against it. As a parent there are a lot of fears around what your child’s substance use may lead to and whether or not they will be able to find success and happiness in their future. You’re noticing that they may not want to accept your help, but hoping they can accept support from a professional.
Millions of Americans struggle with some type of drug or alcohol use issue. In fact, substance issues come to surface in most people’s lives whether it is a family history of use, a friend’s use, or their own current use. It is something that has been normalized in our society and become very common to engage in with friends and family.
With mental health difficulties on the rise, it can become a slippery slope when substances become a frequent activity or way of coping. Most people don’t intend for their use to become something that they depend on or feel like that need, but once there it can be an overwhelming problem to manage on their own.
Lack of connection can often be the driving force to substance use increasing. Connection can pertain to your relationships with family or friends, hobbies and activities, your job or school, and connection to yourself. When we start losing connection in our lives or struggle to find meaning, it can be easy to turn to substances. They are dependable and can give you that feeling that you’re looking for. In a world where people are faced with trauma, isolation, and huge cultural shifts, a lot of the things that we once connected to can start feeling less important.
Using drugs or alcohol is a way to cope but can quickly become unhealthy and disruptive. We don’t start using substances because we want to develop an addiction – we start using substances as a way to cope, to numb out those hard emotions or avoid thinking about the struggles in life, and then later might find yourself in a position where you are dependent and not quite sure how you got there.
The good news is that we have the tools and resources to help you address the underlying mental health struggles and find ways to cope that are more meaningful to you.
Our goal is to work with you to find that healthy connection in your life again. We know that you have purpose and meaning, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to get there. We work with you to identify your journey regarding substance use struggles – whether that’s working towards sobriety, decreasing use, or just understanding the underlying causes and creating more awareness. Using a strength-based approach we can begin working on processing your trauma and other mental health struggles and continue on the journey to healing. We will provide psychoeducation and support in a non-judgmental manner. We don’t want to just understand what your substance use is like, but why you have turned to drugs or alcohol to support you.
Our support begins with a 90-minute intake appointment. During this first appointment we will gather information about you and your relationships between family members, current problems, goals, previous treatment, education, family history of substance abuse, medical issues, mental health struggles, and history of trauma and other helpful information. This helps us understand the bigger picture and how we can best assist you in meeting your goals for treatment whether that is no use, minimizing use, help with understanding substance abuse, or help with supporting a loved one.
Following the intake, individual therapy sessions are 50-minutes. Should family sessions be part of your treatment plan, those sessions with family members are 60-minutes and billed accordingly.
This is a fear that a lot of people have when beginning their journey with substance abuse treatment. We don’t want to just talk about substance abuse either. We want to understand you as a whole and not just label the problem. In our work, we have learned that mental health issues and other difficult dynamics are the leading cause for substance use struggles. We know that in order to address substance use, we must first address those underlying causes.
We will never force you into a change that you don’t want to make. Our goal is to meet you where you are at and work towards small objectives. Maybe you just want to start having the conversation about it. We commend you on your vulnerability to bring awareness to your struggles and will always be flexible regarding what you want to see change in your life.
At Denver Metro Counseling we have therapists who are Licensed Addiction Counselors (LAC) or in training to become licensed in addiction and have decades of experience in the substance use world. We have worked with clients from all walks of life, from teenage years to adulthood. Our experience ranges from working in intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment centers, correctional settings, transitional facilities, facilitating transition in to and out of treatment (wilderness, residential, therapeutic boarding school) and leading groups.
Our clinicians are dedicated to understanding our client’s needs and continuing our education in order to offer the best support that we can. We have walked the journey with many of our clients and witnessed transformations as they find the support they are looking for and make the changes that are wanted.
We offer a free 20-minute phone consultation so we can answer any questions you might have about therapy or other services we provide. We want to make sure you get connected with the right help for you and your family. To schedule a call today click here.