Category: Addictions

Orthorexia Nervosa: When Healing Becomes Unhealthy

Sally scrolls through her social media and an article catches her eye. She clicks on the link and begins to read about how processed foods can be harmful to health. She resonates with the article and slowly stops eating processed foods such as cereals and canned soups. Sally becomes more curious and starts researching more about food, its production, and the impact on our health. She begins to cut out other food categories believing they are bad for her, such

Posted in Addictions, Depression, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Marijuana: Not all good or bad

Those living in B.C and, in particular, Vancouver are well aware of the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana. The province recently approved the opening of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries which have very quickly grown in number to rival that of Starbucks.  The following facts are worth considering as the debate continues to simmer: Marijuana is the most widely used illicit psychoactive drug in the world.  The two most widely used marijuana species are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Due to

Posted in Addictions, Family & Parenting, Therapy

My Teen is Cutting: What can I do?

Liz and Dan recently received a call from the school counsellor informing them their 14 year old daughter, Becky, has been cutting herself. Liz and Dan were in disbelief and confusion. Becky has always been an outstanding child who is friendly, outgoing, does well in school, is in cheer competitively and helps out around the house. When meeting with Becky, the therapist discovers she has been feeling extremely overwhelmed by pressures to be perfect and successful. Becky started self-harming last

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A Better Drug Treatment Focus

As an addictions counsellor I have often wondered why many addicts attend one or more treatment centers yet most will continue to relapse. And we have to wonder why the success rates for full recovery only vary from 5 to 14 percent. Most treatment centers adhere to the widely accepted disease model of addiction and offer programs ranging from 28 to 90 days duration. We need to figure out what to do to be more successful at helping individuals overcome

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Game Over?

David ‘Hesh’ Walker. Illidan Stormrage. Sonic the Hedgehog.  Now that I have your attention, please put down the controller or take your hand off the keyboard, and read on!  This article will review the pros and cons of video gaming, how to recognize when it’s becoming problematic and offer some suggestions and ideas to assist with making healthy changes. First the bad news. Some experts believe that playing video games excessively can hinder the development of the frontal lobe of

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An Alcoholic’s Gratitude

Mary grew up with an alcoholic father and she promised herself that she would never marry anyone who was a heavy drinker. But now after 18 years of marriage she finds that her marriage is much like that of her parents. Her husband, John, drinks almost every night and quite heavily on weekends. Mary tries to avoid the arguments her mother and father had but John becomes verbally aggressive when he’s been drinking and it can be difficult to avoid

Posted in Addictions

Treatment Options

Are you or someone you know struggling with substance use? Are you searching for suitable addiction resources and supports, but discovering the route to be confusing and daunting? Here is a breakdown of some of the programs available for adults. The first stage in dealing with substance use may be detoxification in order to manage the withdrawal symptoms of substance use. There are two withdrawal management/ detox facilities in Vancouver and one in Surrey (Creekside); these are essential services operated

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Winning Your Private Battles

He got the gold. Forty year old Eric Lamaze won an Olympic Gold medal for the individual show jumping competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the first one for Canada in Olympic Equestrian show jumping since 1976. This happened years after being banned from competing on the world stage for a positive drug test. In an interview with CBC Sports he stated “when you give people chances and allow them to come back from their mistakes, great things happen and

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Disease of Alcoholism

The disease model of alcohol abuse is widely accepted but is controversial in many circles. Opponents claim it relieves the problem drinker of any responsibility for their alcohol abuse and related consequences. Proponents claim it has its advantages which are described in more detail below. A person with the “disease” of alcoholism has been labelled an alcoholic. Nevertheless, the term alcoholic has been widely applied to many who abuse alcohol but may not necessarily have the disease. For this reason

Posted in Addictions

Compulsive Addictions

Compulsive gambling, overeating, shopping, sexual behaviour, internet use, and even TV watching all offer opportunities for addictive behaviours. Most compulsive addictions are officially called impulse control disorders. These are defined as “a failure to resist an impulse that is harmful to the individual or others but often starts out as pleasurable.” This generally involves an increase in tension or arousal before actually undertaking the act. This is then followed by gratification, pleasure, relief, and then remorse and guilt over the

Posted in Addictions