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Addiction: Alcohol, Substance, and Behavior

At Clarity Clinic, we believe that recovery is possible for everyone, and our dedicated team is committed to guiding you on your path to renewed hope and healing. Whether you're struggling with substance abuse, alcohol dependency, or any other addictive behaviors, our evidence-based treatment programs and compassionate approach will support you in achieving lasting recovery and regaining control of your life.
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 Alcohol, Substance, and Behavior

Understanding Addiction: A Complex Challenge

Addiction is a multifaceted condition that affects both the mind and body. It is not a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower, but rather a medical condition that requires expert care and understanding. At Clarity Clinic, we recognize that addiction can arise from various factors, including genetics, environmental influences, trauma, and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment addresses the underlying issues that contribute to addictive behaviors, helping you build a strong foundation for sustainable recovery.

We don’t just believe that therapy is an option for those recovering from a substance abuse problem; we believe that it is a necessity. In addition to treating addiction diagnoses, Clarity Clinic also has a multitude of providers who specialize in treating addiction that is co-occurring with another psychiatric diagnosis.

Compassionate and Personalized Addiction Treatment

We understand that every individual's journey to recovery is unique. That's why our team of licensed professionals is dedicated to creating personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs. From the moment you step through our doors, you'll be met with empathy, respect, and non-judgmental support. We prioritize building a trusting therapeutic relationship with you to ensure that you feel safe, heard, and understood throughout your treatment process.

At Clarity Clinic we are dedicated to supporting people who are working to overcome addiction. If you’re struggling with alcohol, drug, or behavioral addictions, we are here to help. We have specific treatment plans for all addictions including nicotine addiction, abuse of benzodiazepines, and others. Whether you’re looking for help for yourself, a loved one, or a friend we can guide you to the service that best meets your needs.

We offer comprehensive addiction treatment to help patients live healthy, happy, and sober lives. Our treatment can include medication maintenance therapy, counseling, and education.

Different Types of Addiction

Alcohol-Use Disorders

Drinking that is problematic or severe can be diagnosed as an alcohol-use disorder and is characterized by excessive alcohol intake, loss of control during alcohol consumption, and a negative emotional state when not consuming alcohol. Alcohol-use disorders are ranked on severity – mild, moderate, and severe and can impair relationships, school, and/or work functioning.

The age range of people who misuse alcohol is between 20-35 and studies have shown a difference in the patterns of drinking between men and women. Women, who seem to start drinking later in life and progress faster, are most likely to drink alone to hide their guilt and shame about their alcohol use. While men tend to drink out socially. Many who struggle with alcohol abuse have other underlying disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, and use alcohol to make them feel better. Although, because alcohol is a depressant, alcohol abuse may lead to worsening symptoms.

Substance-Use Disorders

Similar to alcohol use disorder, excessive or compulsive use of a substance that is problematic or excessive and impairs relationships, school, and/or work functions. More than 50 percent of those with substance abuse disorders have other co-occurring disorders. Additionally, those who abuse drugs have difficulty with impulse control, controlling emotions, low self-confidence, and managing stress.

Behavior/Impulsive Addiction

Behavioral addiction can include gambling, sex, pornography, video games, food, and internet addiction. People with these types of addictions tend to use the behavior as a way to reduce negative emotions and detach from their problems. Many who struggle with these excessive or impulsive behaviors struggle with co-occurring disorders and use these activities as a replacement for developing and sustaining intimate relationships or friendships.

Causes of Addiction

While there is no definitive cause for alcohol, substance, or behavior disorders, there are several factors that can trigger addictive behaviors. Those include:

  • Genetics – a growing body of research has linked genetics and addiction. Those whose relatives had substance or alcohol-abuse disorders are at a greater risk of developing an addiction. When you start drinking alcohol or using substances, you may be at a predisposition for the disorder to develop and progress faster in those whose relatives struggled with addiction.
  • Environmental – those who have a limited support system, or whose peer group engages in excessive alcohol consumption or substance use can contribute to the development of these disorders. Additionally, those who are victims of trauma – sexual, physical, and emotional — are more prone to alcohol and substance abuse disorders, as well as impulse behaviors, such as sex addiction, gambling, pornography, and food.
  • Chemical changes in the brain – Studies have found that the pleasure center of the brain gets activated producing a euphoric effect that can only be repeated with more drugs or alcohol. Re-experiencing that pleasure typically requires more alcohol or substance use to get the same effect resulting in reliance or addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Alcohol and Substances

Those struggling with alcohol symptoms include:

  • Use of larger quantities of alcohol or substance over a longer period than intended.
  • The intention or desire to cut down or control the alcohol or substance but with limited ability to stop.
  • Spending a great deal of time trying to obtain alcohol or substance, use them, or recover from the aftereffects of the drug or alcohol.
  • Consistent cravings or desire to use alcohol or substances.
  • A consistent failure to fulfill major responsibilities or obligations at schools, work, or home
  • Recurrent use of alcohol or substances despite its interference in interpersonal relationships or responsibilities.
  • A reduction of activities or obligations you once enjoyed because of alcohol or substance use.
  • An increase in risky behaviors or hazardous situations because of alcohol or substance use.
  • Continued use of alcohol or substance despite knowing that the alcohol or substance is contributing to poor physical or psychological health.
  • A need for larger quantities of alcohol or substances to get the desired effect or development of a tolerance to the previous amount.
  • Experience physical withdrawal symptoms — nausea, shaking, sweating, heart racing – when the effects of the alcohol or substances were wearing off.

Gambling Disorder

To be diagnosed with a gambling disorder, symptoms can include:

  • The need to gamble with more money to achieve the desired effect of excitement.
  • Becomes irritable or restless when attempting to stop gambling or reduce gambling.
  • Has made repeated attempts to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Is often preoccupied with thoughts of gambling including thinking about when to gamble next, reliving experiences, and thinking about ways to get money to gamble.
  • Often gambles when distressed.
  • Continues to gamble after losing money to “chase” one’s losses.
  • Lies to conceal gambling.
  • Interference in interpersonal relationships or obligations because of gambling.
  • Relies on others to provide money or “bail” them out of financial distress because of gambling.

While sex and pornography are not listed as an official diagnosis in the DSM-5 doesn’t mean these addictive behaviors aren’t problematic. If you believe that you or your loved one is struggling with impulsive control behaviors connected to sex or pornography that are interfering with interpersonal relationships and daily activities and causing distress, please contact Clarity Clinic to discuss treatment options.

Treatment for Alcohol, Substance, and Behavioral Addiction

At Clarity Clinic, we have certified alcohol and drug counselors who specialize in the assessment and treatment of those struggling with substances and alcohol. We understand that the challenges faced throughout recovery can be incredibly difficult to maintain. Our experienced addiction counselors will explore with clients a wide range of areas relating to their addiction, from the physiologic causes to the aspects of their social environment that may affect and trigger their behaviors.

Medication Management

Our psychiatrists ensure a proper diagnosis and take care of specialized medication management for clients who seek to treat their substance use disorders through pharmacological treatment.


Our certified addiction specialists work in conjunction with the treatment team to individually tailor the treatments and therapies. Studies have found that a combination of motivational interviewing, cognitive therapy, and social skills training is effective in treating alcohol, substance, and behavioral addiction.

Friends and family members of those who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse can also be affected by the addiction. Clarity Clinic’s marriage and family therapists can work with couples, and others in the support network to help support them through their loved one’s recovery process.

Evidence-Based Therapies: The Road to Lasting Recovery

At Clarity Clinic, we employ evidence-based therapies proven to be effective in addiction treatment. These therapies are grounded in scientific research and are continually evaluated for their success in aiding individuals on their journey to recovery. Some of the evidence-based therapies we offer include:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors related to addiction. By learning healthier coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills, you'll be better equipped to face challenges without resorting to addictive substances.
  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT combines individual therapy, group skills training, and phone coaching to help you regulate emotions, improve relationships, and cope with stress more effectively.
  3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can enhance your self-awareness, reduce stress, and promote emotional well-being, making it an essential component of addiction recovery.
  4. Motivational Interviewing: Our skilled therapists use motivational interviewing techniques to help you explore and strengthen your internal motivation to overcome addiction.
  5. Family Therapy: Addiction often impacts not only the individual but also their loved ones. Family therapy sessions provide a space to address relationship dynamics and rebuild a support network crucial for sustainable recovery.

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