If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance dependency, you are not alone. Over 20% of Canadians struggle with substance abuse. This percentage does not include behavioural addictions, such as gaming, eating, sex, or other maladaptive behaviours that are also very self-destructive. Although alcohol is the most common addiction in Canada, other addictions are equally life-altering and destructive.
For the Individual Struggling with Addiction
If you have tried treatment, such as AA or AN and can’t seem to make it “stick,” then additional supports are required. Often, people attend these groups hoping that the support of others experiencing the same thing will be enough to change their path. However, many things often challenge an individual besides the actual addiction.
Addiction/substance abuse support without mental health support solves only one piece of the puzzle. Without mental health support, those that struggle with dependency issues “white knuckle” it to stay sober. The mental health challenges that an individual has chosen to numb with the substance of choice have not been addressed adequately. Support groups led by untrained individuals recovering from their own abuse are often not enough. There is always more going on, and if the underlying issues are not treated, then the person struggling with addiction, quite often, is set up to fail. The person trying to get sober experiences failure after failure and can end up in a state of hopelessness; thus, the cycle continues.
If you are reading this, you or a loved one has probably been there. Maybe this is your first step in your journey to sobriety, but maybe it isn’t. Wherever you are, we can help. Whether you have past trauma, struggle with depression or anxiety, or any other mental health issues that impede your success in sobriety, our counsellors are trained to help you. We also help you find alternatives to your self-destructive coping mechanisms and encourage healthy habits.
For the Loved Ones of Those Struggling with Addiction
If you are a parent/sibling/spouse of someone struggling with addiction, support is also available for you. Those with dependency issues encourage a co-dependent relationship causing those close to them to pick up the pieces when things are tough. What can happen is that the person working the hardest to help manage is you. You are the one doing all the heavy lifting. This can be exhausting for you and enables the one who really needs to do the work continue the self-destructive behaviour because you will clean up the mess. There are few if any, consequences for the person who is struggling with addiction. This dynamic is very unhealthy for everyone involved. Often help is needed to recognize and break this behaviour cycle and to learn healthy boundaries.
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