Human Connections Counseling Services, Mark Felber, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Certified Experiential Therapist, Plano, Texas, 214-796-2323
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Specialty Issues:

Chemical Addiction or Other Compulsive Behaviors

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What Is Chemical Dependency?

A person becomes chemically dependent when he or she develops a craving for a substance in order to feel good or "high" or to keep from feeling discomfort, including the discomfort of not using the substance. The need for the substance is always psychological but may be physical as well.

One way of looking at chemical dependency is to view it as an attempted short-cut to feeling pleasure. Natural pleasures can be received through exercise, success in one's profession or in school, athletic or musical accomplishments, interpersonal relationships, and many more daily activities. Chemical pleasures are swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected.

When a person first abuses alcohol or drugs it makes him feel better, maybe less lonely, more confident, more sexy, or more intelligent. As the addiction progresses, the chemically dependent individual keeps seeking these good feelings. Instead, however, she begins to pay an emotional price for these behaviors. When efforts are made to control the amount or the frequency of use they often fail, and as the uncomfortable painful feelings become stronger, the chemically dependent person depends on alcohol or drugs just to reduce the pain or just to feel "normal."

The sad fact about addiction is that the "fantastic high" which seduces the substance abuser into drinking or using becomes harder and harder to achieve. And the pain experienced when not high becomes greater and greater. The disease of chemical dependency can become chronic, persistent, and relentless. The substance abuser eventually moves from the early stage where the substance appears helpful and seductive to an uncontrollable craving. In the late stages of the disease the dependent's body starts to give up. Many physical problems arise. The dependent's mental, emotional and spiritual strength is depleted. Because the disease is progressive, the dependent's condition becomes increasingly more severe over time.

If the chemically dependent person continues to abuse his or her substance, the addiction will eventually lead to death.
    - Death due to liver, heart, kidney, pancreas and lung failure.
    - Death due to overdose.
    - Death due to suicide.
    - Death due to auto, water, or fire accidents.

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E-mail: mark@marriagecpr.com