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Substance abuse refers to the harmful use of drugs or alcohol, where a person becomes dependent on these substances or their use negatively impacts their daily life. It is a complex issue that can be caused by various factors, including genetics, environment, and personal history.
You may be wondering, when taking the edge off crosses the line into addiction. The real question is what behavior brings you here? If you have tried to stop a behavior on your own without success, labels are not important as finding a solution. Addiction is the result of creating a neural pathway and rewarding it with a behavioral stimuli, alcohol, or other addictive substances. Once that neural pathway is enforced enough times, we experience difficulty in refraining from the behavior.
Many triggers can create enough emotional distress for someone to engage in an unwanted behavior. The intensity of that trigger can affect potential addiction. Eventually, the neural pathway itself becomes a source of anxiety, and your behavior has become an addiction. Problem drinking or prescription dug abuse often occurs when those are the coping mechanisms of choice for an unwanted emotion. This can also present as an inability to stop drinking once someone starts. Significant and recognizable shifts in behavior can accompany problem drinking and drug usage. If you are here, you are looking in the right place for help reducing or eliminating your consumption and addressing the unwanted behaviors.
Signs your drinking or prescription drug use is problematic or addictive:
Why is stopping the behavior so difficult? The neural pathway that has become the epicenter of your unwanted behavior has most likely been active for many years longer than your current behaviors have been active. The behavioral stimuli feeding that neural pathway could have taken many forms over the years, so recognition is difficult without guidance and clinical perspective. Engaging in discovery can identify the emotional origin of the unwanted behavior and make arresting the behavior possible!
At Apex we break the process into three areas of focus. The process works regardless of what you are struggling with because each area is individualized and evaluated continuously for effectiveness. The success of each area increasing the opportunity for success in the other areas.
The first area of focus is arresting the behavior. Arresting the behavior can be done with multiple interventions and processes designed to move from utilizing will power to changing the way you react to stimuli. Once you control your reaction to stimuli, you are on your way to regaining control!
The second area of focus is on recovery. In recovery, we start to fill the vacuum created by arresting the behavior. Many programs do not focus on filling the void, and that's why you may have been unable to get into recovery, or remain there. Anxiety, depression and addiction love a vacuum, and discovering self-worth and independence insulate us from relapse.
The final phase, and this can happen simultaneously with recovery, is healthy connection. When we start to control our emotions and recognize our self-worth, we create a healthy space to rebuild, restore and create healthy connections that move us out of isolation and into our new, brighter future.