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Once described as both the cause and solution to all of life’s problems, addiction may not start as a problem, but unintentionally becomes one. Or, it may be a way to cope with difficult life circumstances. Signs of an addiction include “unintended outcomes,” the problems that develop due to preoccupation, compulsion, wanting more of the behavior or substance over time, or feeling emotionally or physically worse without it. Treatment approaches at Blair Counseling include stress management, craving reduction, motivational interviewing and establishing a support system.

Addictions don’t start as addictions. They are often behavior that at one time was not a problem, or was a way to cope with difficult life circumstances. Physical reactions caused by substances are turned into cravings by the part of the brain called the insula. What makes a “bad habit” into an addiction is preoccupation, compulsion, increased tolerance of the behavior or substance, symptoms of withdrawal, and continued use despite negative consequences. Blair Counseling looks for ways to reduce stress and the craving for a particular behavior or substance, and find the right support system.


  • Every year substance use is delayed, the risk of developing a substance use disorder is reduced.
  • Substance use careers are longer the younger the age of first use (60%) longer.
  • Substance use careers are shorter (75%) the sooner people get to treatment.

Source: Winters/SAMHSA, 2004; Dennis et al. 2005; 2006; Scott et al, 2005

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Resources

Twelve Steps to Recover from Addiction

Kickstarting Recovery

Angry Management

I Can’t Sleep!

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An exploration on how Christianity impacts mental health counseling.