Are you or someone you know addict to drugs? Are you unsure on what type of help is available for someone who is addicted to drugs? To help understand how someone can overcome a drug addiction and remain in recovery, I have interviewed therapist Geffen Liberman LISAC, CPC.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a licensed and board certified therapist as well as a certified life coach in private practice in Arizona. I have been working in the field of addiction since 1998 and have had the opportunity to work with and serve many wonderful people and families. After getting clean myself in the fall of 1994, I have dedicated my life to helping others overcome the painful consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.”
What type of impact can a drug addiction have on a person’s overall life?
“Drug addiction can have a huge and powerful impact on a person’s life and the lives of others. There are two main categories of consequences and both are devastating. The first category is referred to as “outside” consequences. These are the one’s that people can see or know are going on, for example, job loss, loss of interest in activities and family events, infidelity, poor health, squandering of finances, terrible choice in peers, pushing away the positive people in your life, things of that nature. Secondly, there are “inside” consequences. Low self worth, negative self talk, hiding physical wounds inflicted on yourself, feeling lost, scared, lonely, angry and just about any other negative feeling you can think of. Of course, these things take time to appear. An individual can go weeks, months, or even years before they believe they are experiencing anything damaging. By the time they do possibly realize damage is done. That’s the catch with drug abuse/addiction. If people paid immediate consequences, no one would use drugs more than a few times, if that. Sadly, that is almost never the case and people’s lives spin out of control before they realize what is happening.”
What can someone do to overcome his or her drug addiction?
“In the not so distant past, the “treatment” for drug addiction or alcoholism was to lock people up in asylums or banish them from communities entirely. Thankfully, this has changed drastically over the past few decades. People who want to get help overcoming their addiction have many community resources that they can access. The most important way of thinking is to understand that drug addiction is not an issue that you can deal with alone. You need to seek outside help. The type of help is debatable and as I mentioned there are many options, but everyone can agree that history has shown that almost no one can recover from this problem alone. I encourage any person suffering or any family member of a drug addict to look into community resources. A quick google search or leaf through the phone book will expose you to many options. All it takes for someone to find help is a desire to change and a willingness to take action. Of course, the process after words takes much work, but it is absolutely worth it. So there is the catch. What can someone do to overcome his or her drug issue? Have the humility to ask for help and the desire to allow that help to work, bottom line.”
Once someone recovers from a drug addiction what can they do to prevent themselves from turning back to drugs?
“Recovery is a life long process. That does not mean that you always want to use or have to white knuckle the rest of your life. It simply means that there are life changes that have to happen in order for anyone to recover, and these life changes will need to be forever applied if someone is to stay sober long term. Once someone achieves initial recovery, a plan needs to be put in place for that person to practice his or her new found principles and life skills long term. Since everyone is different, every plan is different and needs to be addressed based on the individual. What is the short answer? Be very honest when urges to use occur and have a support system in place to help you avoid temptations and to focus on what is really important.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone who is addicted to drugs but has the desire to recover?
“You are not alone. There is life after drug use and it is a vastly better life. Pick up the phone or grab your keyboard. Reach out to someone for help. As the famous Chinese proverb goes “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Don’t be afraid to take that step. There are people waiting and wanting to help you as you read this. Make the call. A better life is waiting for you.”
Thank you Geffen for doing the interview on how to overcome a drug addiction. For more information on Geffen Liberman or his work you can check out his website on www.glcounseling.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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