Kimberly Callen, LCSW,  NBCCH
St George, Utah
Chemical Dependency

Chemical dependency is an illness or disease that is characterized by addiction to a mood-altering chemical. The three most common forms of dependency include: alcohol, nicotine, and drugs. A chemically dependent person is unable to stop drinking or taking a particular mood-altering chemical despite serious health, economic, vocational, legal, spiritual, and social consequences. It is a disease that does not see age, sex, race, religion, or economic status. It is progressive and chronic and if left untreated can be fatal.

When a person is chemically dependent, they have lost the power of choice over using mood-altering chemicals. They may be able to stop for awhile, but they will return to its use again and again despite their best intentions and exertions of logic and willpower. For these reasons, chemical dependence is said to be a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease.

Chemical dependency is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking and/or drug use (prescribed or illegal), preoccupation with the mood-altering chemical, use of the addictive substance despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking--most notably denial.

Chemical dependency is a treatable condition. The first goal of treatment is abstinence. The chemically dependent person must stop using alcohol or drugs. This sometimes requires a period of medical detoxification.

Once alcohol and/or drug use is stopped, individuals may honestly feel that they have the desire and ability to remain sober. This period can last days, weeks or months before cravings (the obsessive pressure to use) return. To reduce the risk of a relapse, the person must address personal problems and life issues related to the chemical dependency.

These issues are addressed in some kind of therapy setting; in group therapy, individual counseling sessions, and educational lectures. The therapy process, including psychotherapy, EMDR, and hypnotherapy, helps chemically dependent individuals obtain the insight and skills needed to understand and deal with problems associated with their dependency. They learn to deal with their problems from a psychological, emotional, and spiritual perspective as well as from a physical perspective. After treatment, personal problems and other major life issues can be handled at a higher level of functioning.

Click for more on the following topics and how I can help you with:

Treatment Techniques:                                                 Disorders:
  EMDR                                                                                    Trauma
  Dyadic Resourcing for EMDR                                             Mood Disorders
  Attachment-Focused EMDR                                                Addictions
  Hypnotherapy                                                                       Chronic Illnesses
  Mind-Body Medicine
  Internal Family Systems 
  Feeling-State Addiction Protocol


Kimberly Callen, LCSW, NBCCH
107 S 1470 East   St George, UT  84790 

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