When does use become abuse?
One of the most common issues that lead people to seek my counseling services is substance abuse. Sometimes the impact of concern is financial, sometimes marital, sometimes physical, and sometimes emotional. Often the question of use versus abuse is presented early and often. So, when does use become abuse? Simple answer is that it depends. It depends on the impact a person’s use has on his or her life and relationships. It is often a hard realization for a person to recognize that their use has become problematic and has transitioned from use to abuse. For those with the “addict” gene, this transition is often fast and furious, and deceptively hidden beneath solid excuses and social pressures. Only you, and your loved ones, can decide if you are using or abusing. But beware; the brain is designed with incredible powers of deception called defense mechanisms, including denial and rationalization. Sometimes we are left with one final strategy and that is to look at the evidence.