Couples Counseling in Melbourne, Florida

Finding Solutions For Staying Together

Addiction Recovery with Earl Ledford, LCSW, Couples Counselor in Melbourne, Florida

Couples counseling with addiction recovery from substances or behaviors (process) is difficult.  There are three critical area of the recovery; the individual with the addition, the individual without the addiction, and the relationship. t text

Recovering Together



It is important to overcome substance-related and addictive behaviors together. 

10 Common Addictions
 
Behavior and Substance Addiction
 

Substance addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.


The word addiction is used in several different ways. One definition describes physical addiction. This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect, otherwise known as a tolerance. Because of tolerance, the biological reaction of withdrawal occurs the drug is discontinued. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs). An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues.



Process addiction refers to compulsive behavior, such as compulsive gambling, sexual addiction, pornography addiction, eating disorders and spending addictions.  This term is often used as a blanket for any behavioral addiction which does not involve an addictive chemical. This is ironic as there are actual chemical processes which occur during the behavior which are very similar to the chemical changes which take place during substance abuse. 


Process addictions are an often overlooked addiction. They are often overshadowed by substance addictions. This is unfortunate as the suffering, loss of life and family, and debilitating consequences are no less. Process addictions require psychological treatment to be overcome. Even though process addiction is often coupled with drug addiction each addiction needs to be tackled in order for a full recovery to take place.


The reasons that these addictions are often overlooked lie in a combination of shame, guilt and lack of understanding. It is somewhat easy to comprehend the chemical addiction of a person who abuses substances while the strong psychological compulsions of the process addict are often ignored. It is not as simple as “just stopping” or “willpower”. There are real chemical and biological changes which occur in the brain of someone who has a process addiction.

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