Awareness and Recognizing the Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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Abuse doesn’t have to be sexual to be damaging. One of the most insidious types of abuse is the verbal abuse experienced by children of alcoholics. This is the classic psychological double-bind: you love the person who is hurting you. And if you love the person, how could they be wrong in their actions? This age-old form of abuse accounts for millions of people turning to drugs and alcohol to assuage their feelings of lack of self-worth. At Northbound Treatment Services we are dedicated to abuse awareness and recognizing the signs of abuse so that we can help people begin to heal.

Left Untreated

So what happens to people who suffer abuse and don’t get treatment? Usually a dysfunctional sense of self begins to emerge. This condition typically consists of unusual levels of mood instability, “black and white” thinking, interpersonal relationship chaos, poor self-image, and risk-taking behavior. The emergence of this dysfunctional sense of self can, in extreme cases, lead to times of dissociation. Many of the psychosocial areas of a person’s life can end up being negatively impacted by a disturbance to the sense of self. One of the most challenging areas is in the maintenance of relationships at home, at work, and among friends. Without effective care and therapy, some people may even contemplate or attempt suicide.

How We Heal

Our program is successful at healing the wounds of abuse because it is based on the proven 12-step formula and because we tailor each abuse treatment plan to the unique needs of the client. With this two-fold approach clients begin developing an understanding of how their self-medicating behaviors prevent them from managing the difficult feeling-states associated with such mental health issues as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit disorder, personality disorders, self-injury, and psychological trauma. These labels all stem from the untreated wounds of abuse. When left unexamined, the abuse festers and in a sense continues, along with the destruction of drug and alcohol abuse.

As clients begin a 12-Step Program, Northbound’s highly experienced staff creates individual treatment plans in conjunction with the clients’ individual therapist. What you get is a more profound treatment approach than traditional recovery methods. Our unique treatment program includes a combination of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic/process-oriented group therapies addressing grief and loss, co-dependency, life-skills, relationship difficulties, relapse and emotional pathways. Because Northbound is addressing both the abuse and the chemical dependency issues, it is understood that recovery is an ongoing process. Northbound has developed immersive treatment programs to restore mental balance and free clients from chemical dependency. Northbound’s contracted psychiatrists and staff psychotherapists treat clients in a residential and outpatient setting.

A New Outlook on Life

Research shows that with effective psychotherapy, sleep and stress management and psycho-education can significantly improve the quality of life of someone dealing with the scars of abuse. One of Northbound’s treatment methods, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), has produced excellent results in helping clients overcome psychological abuse. DBT teaches the client how to learn to take control of their life, their emotions, and themselves through self-knowledge, emotion regulation, and cognitive restructuring. In conjunction with psychotherapy, and medication under the direction of a psychiatrist when necessary, persons who have been abused can show a significant improvement in their overall happiness and quality of life.