Substance Abuse and Addiction

Per NAMI’s 2018 Findings:

9.2 million people experience both a mental health and substance abuse disorder.

43.3% of adults received treatment for their mental health or substance abuse disorder.

The average delay between the onset of symptoms and their treatment is 11 years.

Using more to feel “good”? Sick the day after?

Trouble with relationships? Can’t keep a job?

Can’t seem to put it down, no matter how hard you try?

Addiction can affect aspects of your life such as work, school, and interpersonal relationships. It can be characterized as:

  • tolerance and/or withdrawal symptoms
  • difficulty cutting down use
  • a great deal of time is spent obtaining, using, and recovering from the substance
  • important interpersonal, occupation, or recreational activities are given up for the substance
  • continued use despite the issues stated above


Enabling behaviors are activities that loved ones display to an individual suffering from addiction. It can be characterized as:

  • allowing dysfunctional behavior
  • providing monetary assistance with the knowledge that the money will be used for substance acquisition
  • continued use of “bail out” behaviors to assist their loved one
  • continued guilt and shame that behaviors do not “cure” loved one

How can therapy help my addiction or enabling?

A therapist with extensive training in addiction can identify the symptoms and provide insight into the “why” of addiction. They assist you with creating a treatment plan, building a relapse prevention plan, and learning appropriate coping skills.

With enabling behaviors, a therapist can help with boundaries, assertive communication skills, and coping skills to assist loved ones and their family members.

Together, you can:

  • Break the cycle of addiction, rehab, and relapse
  • Process the changes you need in your life and create a plan of action for change
  • Create a relapse prevention plan
  • Identify coping skills for problem situations
  • Practice boundary setting and assertive communication skills