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Overcoming Addiction. Possible? Yes! Easy? No!

Overcoming Addiction.
Possible? Yes! Easy? No!

By Brandon Pedersen, PLMHP, PLADC

As an addictions counselor, some people come and expect me to fix their addiction. Yet, “fixing” an addiction is not always that simple. Let me explain.

First off, addictions is defined as the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. (Dictionary.com)

​Addictions have a number of different components, and I will explain them simply.

​Addictions come from people’s efforts to cope with trauma, negative emotions, undeveloped coping skills, and stress. Addictions are typically a persons failed attempt to overcome a particular trial they faced through out their life, and they have become enslaved to a behavior/coping mechanism.

​In light of this, people who are trying to quit their addiction will go “cold turkey.” Sometimes this seems successful, but they will often times substitute their addiction with something else. This is because the addictive behavior serves a purpose for the person i.e. reduce stress, take away pain, numb emotions. So, taking away an addictive behavior may reduce a person’s negative consequences, but it will leave the real issue very much alive.

​In my experience, I have not met a person dealing with addictions that did not have some emotional burden. This emotional baggage is often times the real issue, not “fixing” the addictions. As a society, we really have not been taught how to deal with our emotions. Two important things to remember are that emotions need to be identified, and emotions need to be expressed.

​Once a person is able to identify and express their emotions appropriately and consistently, they can obtain the power to deal with their inner-self without the aid of an enslaving, addictive behavior.

Overcoming addiction is far from easy but it is possible with good tools, support, encouragement, and a willingness to start unpacking the emotional baggage. If you’re ready to start the journey to overcoming addiction, please call or email me at Hope & Wellness Center, at 402.639.2901 or Brandon@hwcomaha.com.

 

 

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash