Welcome to the Avalon Blog! Discussions will center on many things related to addiction and mental health. The first topic is: why does Avalon address more than just addiction? Avalon addresses the whole person and all of the issues that come with that person. The underlying contributing factors need to be addressed if we want to help people stop drinking/using and learn to cope with their life.
People often think that they cannot change anything for themselves. Addiction gets in the way of thinking clearly not just from the substance being ingested but because the way of addict thinking has become ingrained. Neural pathways have been established and intense emotion has become attached to that making it strong and powerful. The good news is that neural pathways can be changed and new experiences with success in living life can happen.
Many factors contribute to addiction including but not limited to: heredity, environment, situations, habit, mood, anxiety, obsession and compulsion. All of the issues need to be addressed simultaneously. But the first issue is stop using the substance. This is one of the hardest things a person can do but it can be done with help. The second things is to learn coping skills in order to help with regulation of mood and give a person the ability to tolerate distress. Most addicts/ alcoholics have poor coping skills. They get overwhelmed with life. They may appear on the outside to look/seem competent but on the inside they have been hiding out and they are full of doubt and shame. The person may not know this consciously. The alcohol or substance has created an illusion of reality that they believe instead of what reality truly is. The third thing is as the person is learning the various coping skills the person needs to be on alert for depression, anxiety and other issues that might be addressed by rebalancing the neurotransmitters. That could mean medication but not necessarily so. But if there is an underlying issue of anxiety this could contribute to relapse.