Tag Archives: substance abuse

Substance Abuse


I am not going to preach about the effects of substance abuse. We all know what they are. If you want to help someone with a substance abuse challenge and they do not want to change there are “stages of change”.

Precontemplation. The person sees no need to change.

Contemplation. The person has thought of the pros and cons of their substance use but is not sure about changing.

Preparation. The person is ready to take action to change.

Action. The person is attempting to change and avoiding situations that might trigger substance use.

Maintenance. The person has changed and is working to prevent a relapse.

Relapse. The person  may relapse once or several times before changing their substance use patterns.

If the person is unwilling to change then you can talk to a health professional, consult with others who have gone through the same thing, or talk to the person about the negative consequences of substance abuse.

You can also be a good listener, encourage low risk drinking, give information about mental health care.

Do Not:

Join them in drinking.

Try to control them with threatening, crying, bribing, etc.

Make excuses or clean up their messes.

Feel guilty or responsible.

Helpful Resources:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net

Alcoholic Anonymous  www.aa.org

Al-Anon and Alateen http://www.al-anon.org  and http://www.alateen.org

This article was adapted from the book: Mental Health First Aid USA ISBN: 978-0-692-60748-0


Thoughtful Thursdays #102 Trauma


“Trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories.” (Harvey, 1990) Adapted from Bremner & Marmer, 1998, Copyright 2007 Dr. Fisher

Trauma comes in many forms. Violence of any kind, addictions in both the user and observer, unavailable caregivers, isolation, and poverty are just a few ways of experiencing trauma.

Trauma is toxic mentally and physically because it stops you from maturing and living a full life.  The symptoms of trauma are depression, irritability, loss of interest, numbing, decreased concentration, insomnia, emotional overwhelm, hopelessness, shame and worthlessness, little or no memories, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, mistrust, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, headaches, substance abuse, eating disorders, feeling unreal and out-of-body, self-destructive, loss of a sense of “Who I am”.

That’s a lot of information and possible triggers but they are symptoms of something that holds you back. Trauma effects everything you do with and without your awareness.

To heal from trauma is obvious. Find a trauma therapist. There are tons of information available to read and passionate therapists who want to help you heal.

If you realize you have been a victim that’s good. You will move from victim to survivor to one who thrives to a warrior.

You are strong, reach out and heal.