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Addiction Information


Progressive Nature of Addiction

The progressive nature of addiction is incomprehensible to users and loved ones alike. For most of us, it seems strange that drug abuse represents behavior that is beyond "voluntary control." The central feature of addictive disorders is a progressive loss of control over substance use, whereby chemically dependent people continue, and even amplify their use -- despite increasingly devastating consequences.
The behavior patterns that define substance dependency are characterized by the individual's inability to accurately predict the timing, amount, duration, or consequences of substance consumption.

The Behavior Patterns

"The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems"
"There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control (i.e. predict) substance use"
"The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended"
"there is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use" DSM IV (APA, 1994, p. 181).
Following incomprehensible personal deterioration and unnecessary torment, so many good people have humbly admitted: 'I came to recognize that alone, I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable' (Alcoholics Anonymous, 1976).

Common Terms

Denial: The "hallmark" of the disease. All family members and close friends are affected by the actions of the Chemically Dependent Person. The refusal to admit the truth is a part of the disease process and must be overcome before the healing can occur.
Enabling: Due to shame and fear, significant family members often allow the Chemically Dependent Person to continue disruptive, irrational behavior patterns. This condition is established through a long history of deception, manipulation and control. Family members must learn to focus on their own needs.
Fear: A natural protective instinct that actually allows conditions to continue and only serves to reinforce the cycle of denial. A trained interventionist will help remove these barriers by allowing all concerned to see the truth.
Recovery: The process of learning to cope with feelings on a daily basis free from mind changing chemicals. The healthy family unit can be restored and all concerned parties are then able to live their own lives.
Hitting Bottom: Complete physical, mental and spiritual defeat. The condition when all power, family, job and money must be lost before someone will accept help. It is no longer necessary to wait. Intervention and treatment are far better alternatives that have been proven to work.

"I would like to express my gratitude to Jerry Wittman for helping us to initiate a drug and alcohol intervention with my sister and brother-in-law. Jerry not only brought unity in our family for the first time in years, but he taught us to have courage when it came to confronting our family with their addictions. We would have never been able to see the success and healing for our family members if Jerry hadn't taken a major role in showing us how to acheive these results. Together we have enjoyed seeing our loved ones be freed from the bondage that held them for so many years. Thanks Jerry!" - Patty, Sparks, NV