Are Drugs & Alcohol Causing Problems In Your Life?
Do you struggle with keeping alcohol or drugs in balance?
Are substances your default choice when seeking relief during times of stress?
Are people around you concerned about your drug or alcohol use?
Have you noticed a tendency to self-medicate, and you don’t like the idea of a substance having that much control over you?
Have you struggled with substance abuse for years, and you’ve recently become more aware of the ways it’s affecting your behavior or interfering with important relationships?
Drug and Alcohol Problems are Extremely Common
Your life may look successful from the outside: you’re holding down a good job, you’re high functioning, and you have built close relationships with people in your personal and professional life. But cracks may have started to form in the foundation. You may experience frequent hangovers from using substances to cope with feelings of shame, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Or maybe you’ve embarrassed yourself in social situations or at work functions, but don’t think you could participate at all without using alcohol or drugs.
Your frequent substance use may be causing problems at home, as well. You may take pride in being honest and straightforward, but you find yourself lying about drug and alcohol use or hiding it from your spouse or children. Fights with your partner may have become more frequent or heated, especially when drugs or alcohol are involved. Your partner may think you have a problem, but you aren’t sure how to talk about the issue—or even if you agree that it’s a problem—and that has led to greater distance or conflict in your relationship.
Do you wish you could learn how to drink in moderation, or how to live your best life without alcohol or drugs? Are you willing to work with someone who can help you find healthier ways to cope with life’s problems so you can have fun and feel confident without turning to harmful substances?
Many High-Functioning People Struggle With Substance Abuse
While drinking is a fairly mainstream activity, a drinking problem is still considered taboo. And the stigma surrounding drug use remains, even as some laws are beginning to change. As a result, many individuals are scared to seek help for a spiraling addiction.
Even without a stigma attached, it can be hard to ask for support. You’ve been successful in other areas of your life, so you believe that you should be able to quit drinking or using drugs on your own, too. In reality, the solution is not so simple, and many people struggle to stop or reduce substance abuse on their own.
In 2017, roughly 38% of Americans struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Many people start drinking or using drugs as a source of stress relief, often after a trauma or loss. Others begin consuming socially, and end up associating their happiness with the use of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or another substance. But using drugs or alcohol to reduce stress and cope with problems can actually reduce your natural ability to deal with that experience.
Regardless of how or why you began using, addiction can take on a life of its own. Even if the original source of trouble is gone, the addiction is still there. Alcohol, in particular, is notoriously hard to avoid because it often plays a central role in social events and celebrations. Making things more difficult, many people misinterpret the problem. For example, perhaps you think you drink because you’re depressed, when in fact your drinking is contributing to feelings of depression. Without the right guidance and support, you may end up treating the “symptoms” of substance abuse rather than the reason you began using in the first place.
Whatever the source of the problem, it’s uncommon for substance abuse issues to improve without outside help. And the longer you wait to address the problem, the more fixed your habit becomes. Working with a professional drug and alcohol abuse counselor can help you regain control of your life. You can learn healthier coping mechanisms that help you feel better without requiring drugs and alcohol.
Drug And Alcohol Counseling Can Help You Find Freedom From Addiction
Many people worry that admitting they have a substance abuse problem means they are weak or flawed in some way. The truth is that it takes courage to admit that you have a problem and even more courage to commit to doing something about it. By visiting this page, you have already taken one of the hardest steps to get back on the right track.
I take a collaborative approach during our sessions, whether I am working with you as an individual or seeing you together with a partner or family member. Drug and alcohol therapy offers the chance to discuss your substance abuse or addiction problem with someone who understands your experience and accepts you without judgment. It can be liberating to have a safe space where you can be completely open and honest about your struggles without fear of blame or repercussions.
Instead of telling you how to live and what to change, we’ll have an honest conversation about your experience and what you want to gain from therapy. I want to help you figure out the solutions on your own, and that means tailoring the counseling to your unique needs. In some cases, you may need me to be gentle and supportive. Other times, you may benefit from direct feedback and concrete steps you can use to reduce cravings immediately.
While my goal is to help you get to the root of the problem, I recognize that you may need help managing cravings before you feel ready to tackle deeper issues. Together, we’ll explore emotional, physical, and social factors that may be driving you to drink or use drugs, and I’ll provide practical resources and healthy coping skills you can begin using to reduce triggers immediately.
As a licensed psychotherapist and a certified drug abuse counselor, I have been helping people understand and overcome drug and alcohol problems for over 20 years. In that time, I have worked with nearly 1,000 clients in addiction treatment programs, the chemical dependency unit at a hospital, and my own private practice. I’m an advanced Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC II), an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC), and a graduate of the Hazelden Betty Ford Professionals in Residence (PIR) Program. I know how isolating a drug or alcohol problem can be, but I also know that millions of people every day heal from substance abuse. If you are willing to put in the work, you can find that same freedom.
You May Have Some Concerns About Drug And Alcohol Counseling…
Do I have to go to AA or other 12-step meetings?
No—everyone is different, and heals in different ways. I’ve seen programs like Alcoholics Anonymous be very helpful for lots of people, but they aren’t for everyone. There are lots of drug and alcohol addiction treatment options out there. And for many people, meeting regularly with a counselor and having that accountability is an effective, empowering first step.
I don’t drink/use every day, so I must not really have a problem, right?
The majority of my clients aren’t daily users or drinkers. They can go periods without drinking or using at all. But when they do use, it causes them to feel bad about themselves, or creates problems in their lives. If you feel guilty or ashamed about using, or if it creates problems in your life or relationships, it’s worth seeking support. Even if you disagree with a partner or family member who is worried about your use, it’s important to find a healthy way to communicate. I can help you figure this out.
Do you do drug or alcohol testing?
Via my drug and alcohol testing company, ARS Texas, I can provide random drug and alcohol testing programs and monitoring equivalent to the finest testing programs in the country. Testing programs can be scheduled or random and can include all types of testing: urine, blood, hair, etc. A good testing program can provide the objective data that someone is or isn’t using drugs or alcohol.
Can you help if I need a chemical dependency assessment?
Yes. If you need to have a chemical dependency assessment or evaluation, I can provide this as a one-time service. I can provide chemical dependency and drug and alcohol assessments and evaluations ordered by courts or other entities in Texas or other states. Usually, the assessment consists of one face-to-face interview, after which I'm happy to provide a written assessment or evaluation to whoever referred you.