• Substance abuse includes alcohol, drugs and any other substance you are using to alter your experience of yourself and the world around you. They may begin for a host of reasons. Often they are initially used occasionally and recreationally. After a period of time or because of a situation you begin to use them habitually. You now have an abuse problem. When you find yourself not able to function or feel “normal” without them you have become addicted – physically, emotionally or both. I have worked with addicts for 10 years. In my experience, backed by research, addiction is often related to a lack of healthy connections, low self-esteem and/or trauma. It is not an affliction you get over or past. It is an ongoing management issue. 
  • Process addictions include gambling, sex and love addiction, video gaming, money and many others. They are all a way of avoiding or controlling and share the same features of substance use disorders.