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Dealing with Addictions (Part I)

Counseling couples (single and married) I have on a regular basis helped folks deal with their addictions.

Whether we are dealing with alcohol, cocaine, gambling, marijuana, or sex addictions they all have a very negative impact on a relationship.  Over the years, and having treated hundreds of clients who are suffering from addictions, I have developed criteria for rating the chances of someone recovering from their addictions.

In the next few blogs I will discuss some of those criteria.

The first and most important variable is the level of desperation the person has.  The more upset someone is about the destruction that has and will be caused by the addiction the higher the chances that the individual will be able to recover.  If some one says to me, after I have asked them why they are coming to me, that there in the office because their husband, wife, or parent wanted them to come, then already I know that the chances for recovery are limited.   

The second variable is the length of time that they have been addicted. The longer they have been have been involved in addictive behavior the more embedded the habit. 

The third variable is the intensity of the addiction the greater the intensity of the addiction, harder it is to break deal with the problem.  If someone is deeply involved in the addiction, it’s not only the physical issues of the addiction; it’s also the life style that goes with that addiction.  Often time’s people don’t know what to do with their time and their life when they stop engaging in the behavior. 

In my next blog I’ll talk about some other issues that really effect the likelihood of recovery.

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