chicago addictions counseling


Addictions Counseling Chicago

Looking for addictions counseling in Chicago? Are you concerned that you may be abusing substances? Do you sometimes wonder if you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs? Are there certain behaviors that you engage in which make you question if you are addicted to sex? If so, you are not alone.

Many people in Chicago and around the world struggle with these kinds of questions. What follows is a brief walk-through of two specific kinds of addiction that you may or may not be aware of.

What is addiction?

Simply put, whenever a person is unable to stop using a substance or engaging in a given behavior, even if they desperately want to – they have an addiction. This urge to use a substance, such as alcohol or a drug, is so strong that it overrides the individual’s ability to stop. This happens despite knowing there may be negative consequences.

Are there different kinds of addiction?

There are two primary types of addiction. One is commonly referred to as a “substance abuse” addiction and the other a “behavioral addiction”.  Let’s take a quick look at an example of both so that you have a better understanding of what these terms mean.

Substance abuse addiction

In the case of a substance abuse addiction, an individual may have a chemical dependency on a particular substance (or substances) that have created a series of negative consequences in their lives.

Common substance abuse addictions include:

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  • Tobacco
  • Cocaine
  • Crystal Meth
  • Benzodiazepines (downers)
  • Amphetamines (uppers)
  • Caffeine
  • Opiates
  • Steroids

Behavioral Addictions

The addiction itself often begins with someone experiencing pleasure connected to an activity and then seeking out more and more of the activity/behavior over the course of time.

As the addiction escalates, the risks increase. Eventually, the activities connected to the addiction become a major part of the person’s daily life. Like a substance abuse addiction, a behavioral addiction continues despite knowledge of negative consequences.

Common behavioral addictions include but are not limited to:

What causes addictions?

There are a number of different theories about what causes an addiction but the exact reasons remain unknown. We know from scientific research that certain types of addictions involving substances like alcohol tend to run in families.

Many behavioral scientists and addictions specialists believe in the bio-psychosocial model of addiction. Essentially, this model suggests that addictions are caused by a number of factors, including biological and psychological reasons.

Can a person have more than one addiction?

Yes – in fact, this is often the case. For example, a person can be addicted to alcohol (substance) and also be addicted to sex (behavioral). On the flip-side, a person can also be addicted to several substances and/or behaviors at the same time (alcohol + cocaine).

How are addictions treated?

There is no “cookie cutter” approach to treating an addiction. Each addiction is as unique as the individual. Generally speaking, there are various approaches that are used to help a person work through an addiction and remain “sober”.

Here are some of the more common approaches:

  • Individual addictions counseling/therapy

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    Individual Counseling
  • Group addictions counseling/therapy
  • In-patient treatment services
  • Intense outpatient treatment services
  • Ongoing participation in support groups (12-step programs)
  • Medications (depending on addiction)

What should I do if I think I have an addiction?

One of the best things you can do if you think you may have an addiction to substances or specific behaviors is to talk to a specialist. Many of the Chicago therapists at 2nd Story Counseling are experienced with helping in the treatment of substance abuse and/or behavior addictions.

A counselor can assist you with gaining new insight into what may be going on in your life in a non-judgmental and supportive way. This in fact is how the change process begins.    

We offer a relaxed, safe and warm atmosphere where you can talk about your concerns without feeling shamed. One of the guiding principles of 2SC is to help clients focus on what is going right in their life, while using a strength based approach to wellness. Mindfulness is part of recovery process.

To learn more about our alcohol, drug and sex addiction counseling services, give us a call at 773-528-1777 or send us a confidential note using our online contact form.