Whether you or someone you care about has problems with alcohol, drugs, food, gambling or some other area of addictive behavior, the effects can be devastating on everyone concerned--emotionally, financially, legally, physically. Help is usually needed, and often help is needed from several sources at the same time.
So where do you go? If you have a medical emergency, of course, go to your medical doctor or local hospital. If you do not have a medical emergency, however, often a psychologist trained in addictions can help you decide the best course of action.
A psychologist trained in addictions will make an initial assessment that includes an evaluation of your needs around the addiction as well as other psychological needs. The psychologist will then create a treatment plan for you. That plan might include individual, or group or family psychotherapy. It might also include a referral for a medical or psychiatric consultation, or the involvement of an in-patient or out-patient setting (sometimes instead of individual psychotherapy). Involvement in self-help groups might also be recommended.
There is help for addictive behaviors. And a psychologist may often be the best place to start.
© 2005, Morris County Psychological Association