Substance Abuse

For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a disease presenting with at least one of the following:

  • Craving – a strong need to drink
  • Loss of control – not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started
  • Physical dependence – withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, or shakiness when you don’t drink
  • Tolerance – the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
  • Negative relationships / family / work related effects

Alcoholism carries many serious dangers. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Alcoholism also increases the risk of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide.

If you want to stop drinking, there is help. Start by talking to your health care provider. Medicines, counseling, and support groups may help you to stop drinking.

Drug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Drug abuse in children and teenagers may pose a greater hazard than in older people. This is because their brains are not yet fully developed. As a result, the brains of young people may be more susceptible to drug abuse and addiction than adult brains.

Abused drugs include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Crystal Meth
  • Ice
  • OTC Abuse
  • Xanax ( Bars )
  • OxyContin ( Pain Medication )
  • Bath Salts
  • Prescription drugs / Narcotic

There are different types of treatment for drug abuse. But the best is to prevent drug abuse in the first place.
Below are links to official Alcoholics Anonymous and associate organizations that can provide information on substance abuse and recovery strategies.  Other addiction recover resources are also included below. Please call us at 713.995.0909 should you have any further questions.
12 Step Programs
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) http://www.aa.org
Al-Anon / Alateen http://www.al-anon.alateen.org
(US & Canada) Cocaine Anonymous (CA) http://www.ca.org
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) http://www.na.org/

Professional Organizations
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) http://naatp.org/ – homepage
Joint Commission  http://www.jointcommission.org/ – homepage
http://www.qualitycheck.org/qualityreport.aspx?hcoid=1202 – member listings
Texas Hospital Association (THA)  www.tha.org/ – homepage

Government Agencies
National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) http://www.drugabuse.gov/
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)  http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/

Recovery Support Links
Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous http://www.na.org
Alanon and Alateen http://www.al-anon.org/
Cocaine Anonymous http://www.ca.org
Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

Anger / Aggression

Definition:

Anger management is a process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this.
You may learn anger management skills on your own, using books or other resources. But for many people, taking an anger management class or seeing a mental health counselor is the most effective approach.

Why it’s done

Anger management helps you recognize frustrations early and resolve them in a way that allows you to express your needs — and keeps you calm and in control.
Some signs you need help controlling your anger include:

  • Often feeling that you have to hold in your anger
  • Frequent arguments with your partner, children or co-workers that escalate frustrations
  • Trouble with the law
  • Physical violence, such as hitting your partner or children or starting fights
  • Threats of violence against people or property
  • Out-of-control behavior, such as breaking things or driving recklessly

When you start working on anger management, identify your particular triggers and the physical and emotional signs that occur as you begin to get angry. Pay attention to these, and write them down:

  • Identify any stressors that commonly trigger or worsen your anger. Examples include frustration with a child or partner, financial stress, or issues with a co-worker.
  • Pay attention to physical signs that your feelings of anger are rising — for example, clenching your jaw or driving too fast.
  • Take note of emotional signs your anger’s on the rise, such as the feeling you want to yell at someone or that you’re holding in what you really want to say.

What you can expect

Anger management classes or counseling for anger management can be done one-on-one; with your partner, child or other family members; or in a group setting. The setting, length of sessions and how many sessions you’ll need to attend can vary depending on the program or therapist and your needs. Typically, anger management courses or psychological counseling for anger lasts for a period of weeks up to a few months.

Generally, counseling for anger management focuses on learning specific skills and ways of thinking to cope with anger. If you have any other mental health conditions, such as depression or addiction, you may need to work on these other issues for anger management techniques to be effective.

The aim of counseling and anger management classes is to teach you to:

  • Identify situations that are likely to set you off and respond in nonaggressive ways before you get mad
  • Learn specific skills to use in situations likely to trigger your anger
  • Recognize when you aren’t thinking logically about a situation, and correct your thinking
  • Calm yourself down when you begin to feel upset
  • Express your feelings and needs assertively (but not aggressively) in situations that make you feel angry
  • Focus on problem solving in frustrating situations — instead of using energy to be angry, you’ll learn how to redirect your energy to resolve the situation
  • Communicate effectively to defuse anger and resolve conflicts

Results

Improving your ability to manage anger has a number of benefits. You’ll feel as if you have more control when life’s challenges turn up the heat. Knowing how to express yourself assertively means you won’t feel frustrated because you feel that you need to “hold in” your anger to avoid offending someone.

Anger management can help you:

  • Communicate your needs. Learn how to recognize and talk about things that frustrate you, rather than letting your anger flare up. Knowing how to express yourself can help you avoid impulsive and hurtful words or actions, resolve conflicts, and maintain positive relationships.
  • Maintain better health. The stress caused by ongoing angry feelings can increase your risk of health problems, including headaches, sleep problems, digestive problems, heart problems and high blood pressure.
  • Prevent psychological problems linked to anger, which can include depression, problems at work and troubled relationships.
  • Use your frustration to get things done. Anger expressed inappropriately can make it difficult for you to think clearly, and may result in poor judgment. You’ll learn to use feelings of frustration and anger as motivators to work harder and take positive action.
  • Help avoid addictive escapes. It’s common for people who feel chronically angry to turn to alcohol, drugs or food. Rather than using alcohol, drugs or food to dull anger, you can use anger management techniques to keep your cool and your control.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious behavior problems. They include

  • Anorexia nervosa, in which you become too thin, but you don’t eat enough because you think you are fat
  • Bulimia nervosa, involving periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through self-induced vomiting or using laxatives
  • Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. They usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

Eating disorders can cause heart and kidney problems and even death. Getting help early is important. Treatment involves monitoring, mental health therapy, nutritional counseling and sometimes medicines.