Substance Abuse Counseling Video on Parents Protecting Children from Substance Abuse

Protecting one’s children from substance abuse is something all parents strive to do but many fall short.  There are signs and signals to be alert for to see potential abuse BUT the biggest way to protect one’s children is to be present in their life.  It is important to be a fixture in their life to know what they do.  Many times, even the best kids, can fall victim to peer pressure.  When work or busy schedules take one away from one’s primary vocation which is one’s children, then issues can creep in.

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification


Please also review the video

Substance Abuse Care Found to be very Effective via Telehealth

By: Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, RN-BC, ANP-BC, FACHE
Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse
Executive Director The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.


Substance abuse care has traditionally been delivered in person, but a new study has found that telehealth can be just as effective. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, followed a group of patients who were receiving care for substance abuse via telehealth. The researchers found that the patients who received care via telehealth were just as likely to stay in treatment and abstain from substance use as those who received in-person care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many doctors to get creative with their treatment methods, including the use of telehealth to treat patients with opioid addiction. This is because traditional in-person treatments are not possible during the pandemic. Telehealth allows doctors to provide care to patients remotely, which is crucial for ensuring that patients with opioid addiction continue to receive the treatment they need.

In this US NEWS Article, author Cara Murez, presents the findings from a new study released by the Yale School of Public Health. This study consisted of survey research of more than 1,100 physicians who treated opioid-use disorder patients via telehealth.

“Researchers found that 6 out of every 7 physicians were in favor of making this temporary telehealth flexibility a permanent part of their practice. More than 75% said they would like to continue using telehealth after the COVID pandemic if regulations permitted.”

Most Docs Want Telehealth for Opiod Abuse Treatment to Stick Around. Cara Murez. US NEWS. October 17, 2022.

Access Article


Care of patients with opiod addictions research shows telehealth is a viable option for their treatment. In a study done by the University of Colorado, it was found that patients who used telehealth for their care had better outcomes than those who did not. The study found that patients who used telehealth were more likely to remain in treatment and less likely to relapse. This is an important finding as it shows that telehealth can be an effective tool in the treatment of opiod addiction.

The flexibility of telehealth would allow more individuals to access life-saving treatment for opioid addiction. This would increase the number of people who are able to receive treatment and improve the chances of success for those who are struggling with addiction. By expanding the availability of treatment, we can make a significant impact on the opioid epidemic and save lives.

The number of people that die from opiod addiction is staggering. In the United States alone, the number of people dying from opiod addiction has quadrupled in the last fifteen years. This is a national tragedy that requires a concerted effort to address.

Factors leading to Opiod Abuse

There are many factors that contribute to the high number of deaths from opiod addiction. One is the widespread availability of opiates, both legal and illegal. Another factor is the lack of access to treatment for those suffering from addiction.

The lack of access to treatment for opioid addiction is a major problem facing our society today. There are many reasons for this problem, but the most important one is the stigma surrounding addiction. Too often, people view addicts as weak or morally corrupt, and this makes it difficult for them to get the help they need. Additionally, many insurance companies do not cover addiction treatment, which makes it even more difficult for addicts to get the help they need.

Benefits of Telehealth Counseling

There are numerous benefits of telehealth patient care, including improved access to care, increased convenience, and improved clinical outcomes. Telehealth can also help to reduce healthcare costs by reducing travel time and expenses for patients and providers alike. In addition, telehealth services can improve continuity of care by providing patients with easier access to their providers and medical records.

Patient counseling by telehealth is the process of providing counseling and support to patients via telephone or video conferencing. This type of counseling can be beneficial for patients who live in remote areas or who have difficulty accessing traditional counseling services. Telehealth counseling can also be helpful for patients who prefer to receive counseling in the privacy of their own homes.

Patients often feel that telehealth counseling is more private and confidential than in-person counseling. This may be due to the increased sense of anonymity that telehealth provides. Patients may also feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics in the privacy of their own homes. Telehealth can also provide a sense of flexibility and convenience that is not always possible with in-person counseling.

Telehealth and Medication Prescribing

The use of telehealth to prescribe medications for opioid abuse is becoming increasingly popular. There are many advantages to using telehealth to prescribe medications, including the ability to reach a larger number of patients, the ability to provide more individualized care, and the ability to reduce the risk of medication errors.

Health care providers can prescribe medications and send them directly to pharmacies using telehealth technology. This process allows patients to receive their medications more quickly and conveniently. In addition, it helps to ensure that patients take their medications as prescribed and reduces the risk of medication errors.

Emergency Visits by Telehealth

There is growing evidence that emergency sessions for opioid abuse patients can be done effectively by telehealth. A recent study found that patients who participated in emergency telehealth sessions had a significant reduction in craving scores and were more likely to stay in treatment.

Emergency sessions for opioid abuse patients can be done by telehealth as needed in order to provide the patient with the necessary care and support they need. This is a significant advantage for patients and providers and can be life-saving. Providers can quickly call community rescue services if  their assessment of the patient finds the patient to be in any type of danger physically or emotionally.

Continuum of Care

A full continuum of care is possible for opioid and other types of substance abusers with telehealth. This means that individuals can receive services and support at every stage of their addiction, from initial treatment and detoxification to long-term recovery and maintenance. Telehealth can provide access to a variety of care providers, including counselors, psychiatrists, and physicians, who can work together to create an individualized care plan.

In conclusion,it is evident that telehealth has many benefits in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. It is convenient, accessible, and anonymous. Telehealth also allows for a more individualized approach to treatment. It is important to continue to research and develop telehealth services in order to provide the best possible care for those suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities today in the specialty practice of substance abuse and addictive disorders. If you are a health care professional and are interested in learning about this practice specialty; the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. offers a full program of continuing education and certification in Substance Abuse Counseling leading to Certification as a Substance Abuse Practitioner. You may preview information on this program: access here.

Additional Resources

Understanding the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facility Operations and Patient Success: Evidence From Mississippi. Devon Meadowdcroft, Sage Journals. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment. May 13, 2022. Access here.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 and the Impact on Substance Use Disorder Treatments. Osnat C.Melamed, Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Vol. 45, Issue # 1: March 2022. Access here.

Using telehealth to improve buprenorphine access during and after COVID-19: A rapid response initiative in Rhode Island. Seth A. Clark, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Vol. 124: May 2021. Access here.

Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing. Jonathan Cantor, Journal of Addiction Medicine. December 2020. Access here.

Substance Abuse Counseling Certification Blog on Addiction

Substance abuse is not always a choice.  While the initial taste or inhalation or snort or injection of a drug is a bad choice, the addiction is something far more sinister.  Addiction later captures the individual and the choice to escape is no longer present.  Instead the individual faces strong urges that control their mind and body.  Substance Abuse Counseling can help individuals face addiction better as well.

There are many reasons why people might choose to use drugs and become addicted. Some people might use drugs to escape from reality or to cope with difficult life circumstances. Others might use drugs because they’re curious about them or because their friends are using them. Some people might even use drugs for medicinal purposes. Whatever the reason, drug use is a complex issue with many contributing factors.  Ultimately, the drug leads to a state of addiction for millions of Americans.

Poor choices and bad coping can lead to addiction. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification


Addiction is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. Despite the involvement of a number of psychosocial factors, a biological process – one which is induced by repeated exposure to an addictive stimulus – is the core pathology that drives the development and maintenance of an addiction.  The traditional view of addiction, as a strictly behavioral phenomenon, has been challenged by more recent research which highlights the role of neurochemical changes in the brain in mediating addictive behavior.

The brain and addiction are intimately linked. Addiction hijacks the brain’s natural reward systems, causing powerful cravings and reinforcing the behaviors that lead to addiction. Over time, this can lead to changes in the brain that make it even harder to break free from addiction. But it’s not all doom and gloom – there is hope. With treatment and support, people can recover from addiction and go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

Addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain and body. It is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Overcoming addiction is a difficult and long process that requires professional help, support from family and friends, and often takes many tries. However, it is possible to overcome addiction with hard work and determination.  There are a few key things to keep in mind when recovering from addiction. First, it is important to understand that addiction is a disease. Just like any other disease, it takes time, effort, and patience to recover. Second, it is important to seek professional help. Substance Abuse Counselors can help you develop a plan for recovery and provide support along the way.

When an individual is struggling with addiction, they are often fighting a battle on multiple fronts. Not only are they dealing with the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms that come with addiction, but they are also often battling mental health issues, social stigma, and financial instability. Coping with addiction can be incredibly difficult, but there are a few key things that individuals can do to help themselves.   Addiction Counselors can play a large role in recovery.

Addiction counselors are mental health professionals who work with individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. They provide support and guidance to help people overcome their challenges and live healthy, drug-free lives. Addiction counselors use a variety of techniques to help their clients, including individual and group counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 12-step programs.

Addiction Counselors and support groups can help with substance abuse. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program


Cognitive therapy is a type of psychological therapy that helps people to change the way they think and feel about different situations. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all interconnected, and that by changing our thoughts, we can change our feelings and behaviors.  Cognitive therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse.

The 12-step program is a set of guidelines for recovering from addiction, originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. The program has since been adapted for use with other types of addiction, such as narcotics, gambling, and food.  The 12 step program is a set of guidelines for recovery from addiction. The program is based on the belief that addiction is a disease that can be treated by following certain steps. The steps involve admitting that you have a problem, admitting that you cannot control your addiction, and making a commitment to change your behavior. Other steps include finding a support group, learning new coping skills, and making amends for past mistakes.

There is a growing body of research that suggests that family involvement can also be helpful for people who are struggling with addiction. This may include providing support and understanding, helping with treatment and recovery, and making changes in the home environment to reduce stressors and triggers. While each situation is unique, involvement from family members can make a significant difference in the outcome of treatment.

An individual who receives help through the process of recovering from a substance must continue after treatment.  It is a life long cross that one must carry.  Relapse is an unfortunate result for many individuals facing addiction.  Relapse is defined as a return to drug use after a period of abstinence, and it can occur even after years of being clean. The risk of relapse is highest in the first few months after quitting, but it can happen at any time.

Many times individuals return to the source of their addiction because they feel alone, rejected, or seek to escape reality.  One must understand that the fight against addiction is a permanent war that will rage the entire person’s life.  This is why during recovery and well beyond it is important that individuals keep good company and avoid occasions that lead to the use of a particular substance or push for its usage.

Addiction is a horrible disease and stigma for many.  If individuals understand the nature of it and see the life that is being destroyed by it then they can better face it and find the help they need. Many understand this but find it difficult.  This is why the first step is so critical and important to be supported and encouraged.  When one starts to realize they have a problem and look to take accountability, then a ray of hope enters into that person’s life

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling Training.

Additional Resources

What Is Addiction? from Healthline

The 12 Steps & 12 Step Programs: Everything You Need to Know” reviewed by Susan Stader

Substance Abuse” by Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

Overcoming Addiction” by Marc Galanter in Psychology Today

Does Adult ADHD Lead to Alcoholism or Drug Use? 

Written by Fay Smith

ADHD is a common diagnosis for kids who struggle in school, but what happens when kids grow up and struggle in their offices, communities, and relationships?

Adults with ADHD have difficult challenges, and many turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.

In this article, we’ll look at how and why that is.

How Adults Cope with ADHD

ADHD presents many challenges for adults, but one of the biggest is regularly lacking dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is largely responsible for the pleasure that you feel when you accomplish something. A sense of accomplishment boosts you and makes it easier to take on your next tasks. For people with ADHD, this doesn’t happen the same way.

Adults with ADHD have a different reward system than neurotypical adults. A normal work routine, including meetings, might be somewhat boring for an office manager who is neurotypical, but it could send someone with ADHD into a spiral.

Without feeling like they are accomplishing anything important to them, and receiving the dopamine boost that goes along with that, it becomes increasingly hard to concentrate.

Having ADHD and needing to do things you don’t want to do and aren’t interested in can be extremely difficult, and even painful.

It’s a process of trying to force your brain to act in ways it doesn’t want to. The result is usually a drop in neurotransmitters and the onset of depression. Up to 53% of people with ADHD also struggle with depression.

There are legal substances that can provide a lot of help to adults with ADHD. Coffee can help to stimulate the brain to produce more neurotransmitters, and legal CBD can help to relax the nervous system and provide the restful sleep that adults with ADHD need to maintain good brain health. Know more about it here.

However, there are many adults with ADHD who turn to alcohol and drugs – not just to cope with the pain of having ADHD as an adult in a world designed for neurotypical people, but to help manage an unruly brain that won’t seem to follow directions.

Why do ADHD Adults Turn to Drugs and Alcohol?

It’s important to note that every adult with ADHD was once a child with ADHD, and it is typically in pre-adolescence or adolescence when substance abuse problems or tendencies first arise.

An 8-year longitudinal study found that at the age of 14.9, 40% of ADHD subjects and only 22% of control subjects had used alcohol (Barkley et al. 1990). This suggests that alcohol and other drugs are more appealing to people with ADHD in early adolescence.

A different study found that at age 25, alcohol use was roughly equal between ADHD adults and control groups, but we know that early and intense alcohol use is a risk factor for later alcohol and drug problems.

Growing up is when most people start to face increasing demands on their time and attention, which is also when young adults with ADHD begin to face significant struggles and shoulder the shame that comes from not being able to act or be like everyone else.

ADHD adults use drugs to cope, practically and emotionally.

In a practical sense, drugs and alcohol change the brain and produce the mental states that people with ADHD are looking for. When you are unable to feel happy or concentrate, a cup of coffee can help. So can other drugs. When you can’t seem to calm down or regulate your energy or emotions, alcohol can help. So can other drugs.

Neurotypical adults might be able to take a deep breath and restore calm and focus, but this just doesn’t happen for ADHD adults, who struggle to regulate themselves.

On an emotional level, it is easy to blame yourself for your problems as someone with ADHD. An inability to focus can be mistaken as a lack of interest or care. Disinterest in boring and unrewarding tasks can come across as laziness.

Adults with ADHD have to deal with a disabling inability to focus, as well as being blamed personally for that inability to focus.

In a culture that values constant productivity and readiness, adults with ADHD often struggle to regulate their attention and emotions and use drugs or alcohol as tools to cope.

Recovery for Adults with ADHD and Drug Problems

Although alcohol and other drugs might relieve temporary symptoms of ADHD, they invariably make life worse.

This is not just for all of the reasons that you’re familiar with – the cost, the health impacts, the social impacts, etc – but also because alcohol and most other drugs are harmful to the brain and end up making symptoms worse in the long run.

A healthy brain releases more neurotransmitters that help focus and attention. An unhealthy brain doesn’t regulate itself well. When you start messing with your brain’s reward system, it makes it even harder to set things right.

If you or someone you know is an adult with ADHD and a drug or alcohol problem, find a treatment solution that also addresses the impacts of ADHD. True recovery requires solutions to multiple problems.



Author Bio: Fay Smith

Fay Smith worked in communications for five years before settling down with her husband. She’s now a mother of two young children and takes care of three lovable Pomeranians. Fay Smith is a regular contributor on various health and wellness sites. She also works as a freelance writer and researcher on wellness topics, such as alternative treatments and CBD.




Please also review AIHCP’s Attention Deficit Consulting certificate program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Addiction Recovery and Alcohol Substance Abuse

Many individuals who find themselves addicted to alcohol feel as if they have no control.   They follow the addictive impulses and habits of drinking everyday.  They feel powerless and unable to break the cycle.  However, it is possible to overcome any addiction, including alcohol.   One is not powerless to past behavior and impulses but can a play a true role in overcoming this type of addiction.  Substance Abuse Counseling and support groups or one way individuals can face addiction and help with recovery.

Overcoming addiction is a choice and life style. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it meets your needs


The article, “Alcohol Addiction: A Rational View to Change Your Life” by Michael Edelstein looks closer at how individuals can overcome alcohol addiction.   He discusses many misconceptions regarding addiction and drinking.  In many cases, individuals label themselves or feel as a failure, but he reassures everyone that they do a play an active role in their recovery.   He furthermore lists a cognitive thinking skill others can apply when they feel the urge to drink. He states,

You are powerless. This means you’re compelled to drink. This would be true if someone forced you to drink at the point of a gun. Then, we may say you’re powerless. But under normal circumstances, you’re a free agent with free will. You can choose to use or choose not to use. Addiction is a choice.

He continues…”There is no evidence I must escape this discomfort. Drinking may feel good for the moment but will surely feel really bad later. There is no “must” commanding me to drink, all musts are a figment of my imagination. I don’t have to act on it.”

Alcohol Addiction: A Rational View to Change Your Life. Michael Edelstein, PhD.  Psychology Today.  August 18th, 2022

To review the entire article, please click here



Addiction is a complex phenomenon that is characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite negative consequences. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder that is associated with changes in brain circuitry that underlie impaired control over behavior. Individuals with addiction often report feeling unable to control their use of substances or engagement in behaviors, even when they are aware of the harmful consequences. The development of addiction is thought to be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

In particular, drinking has its own addictive issues.  Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can lead to a number of negative consequences. If someone is struggling with alcohol addiction, it is important to seek professional help. Alcohol addiction can cause physical and mental health problems, and it can also lead to financial and relationship problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, please seek help from a professional.

One problem with drinking is the fact it is a social practice.  This leaves an individual in the constant shadow of individuals drinking or viewing beer commercials without notice.  Because it is an acceptable practice in society, many individuals find constant temptation to fall or relapse back into drinking.

Alcohol Recovery

The process of recovering from alcohol addiction can be a long and difficult one. There are many different aspects to recovery, including physical, psychological, and social. The first step in recovery is usually detoxification, which can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. After detoxification, the individual will need to work on rebuilding their life and making healthy choices. This can include things like therapy, support groups, and 12-step programs.

The 12 step program is a set of guidelines that are designed to help individuals suffering from addiction. The program is based on the belief that addiction is a disease that can be effectively treated by following these 12 steps. The steps include admitting that you have a problem, admitting that you are powerless over your addiction, and making a commitment to change your life. Other steps involve taking a moral inventory of yourself, making amends for your past actions, and adopting a new way of life.  The original twelve steps were developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovering from alcoholism.

Family members can help the addicted.  The alcoholic is likely experiencing a great deal of shame and guilt related to their alcoholism, which can make it difficult for them to seek help. As a result, the he or she may need support in order to begin the process of seeking treatment. Additionally, the he or she may need assistance in managing the financial and practical aspects of treatment, as well as emotional support throughout the process.

Unfortunately, sometimes relapse can occur.  A relapse is a return to drug or alcohol use after a period of sobriety. This can happen after days, weeks, or even years of being clean and sober. A relapse can be triggered by a number of factors, including stress, anxiety, boredom, and feeling isolated from others. People who are in recovery from addiction are at risk for relapsing, and it is important for them to have a support system in place to help them stay on track.  Relapse does not mean one is a failure or that all the hard work is ruined, but shows that recovery is a life long process.


In conclusion, addiction is a serious problem that plagues many people. It is important to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. There are many resources available to help those who are struggling. With the right help, addiction can be overcome.  Substance Abuse Counseling is an excellent way to fight addiction as well as support groups.

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling.  After completion of the required courses, one can then apply for the four year certification.


Additional Resources

“Neurocircuitry of Addiction” George F Koob & Nora D Volkow. Neuropsychopharmacology volume 35pages217–238 (2010).  Access here

“Alcoholism”.  American Addictions Center.  Access here

“Alcohol use disorder”. Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic.  Access here

“What is addiction?. Adam Felman. Medical News Today. June 3rd, 2021.  Access here

Substance Abuse Counseling Certification Blog on Friends Helping Friends

Addiction can ruin a person.  Friends need to know when to step in and discuss a friend’s problem.  This may not be easy and it may cause back lash.  It may cause uneasy moments but finding a good time to discuss a potential problem is important.  Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification

Friends usually have good senses of when something is going wrong with another friend.  They share common goals, dreams and spare time.  So it is easy for a friend to help another friend find alternative ways to have fun and also find help.

If a friend has a problem then they need intervention. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification


The article, “When You Need to Talk About Addiction” by Elisabeth Millard looks at how a friend can help another friend with addiction.  She states,

“Similar to the right place is the right tone. Confrontational language like, “You’re drinking too much,” can often fire up someone’s defenses. It’s likely you’ll already encounter an initial round of denial and pushback, such as: “Everyone drinks this much,” or “It’s not that bad,” so starting with a neutral tone is important, as well as offering a genuine expression of concern, Owsiany explains. Begin the conversation with what you’ve been seeing, so it comes from your perspective and use statements that reflect your point of view.”

To review the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional needs and goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling.

Substance Abuse Counseling Training Blog on Coping with a Alcoholic

Alcohol is the most common addiction among people.  Many families are torn apart due to alcoholism which leads to abuse and domestic violence.  Financial distress and unpaid bills and infidelity all are caused due to the addiction to alcohol.   It is important to be moderate with drinking.  As for those who have to deal with drunk individuals, it can be a heavy burden and difficult process.  Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training program

Coping with an alcoholic can be difficult. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training Program


The article, “Dealing With Someone Addicted to Alcohol: 9 Tips To Cope” from Cleveland Clinic’s Healthessentials looks at the best ways to cope with those who are addicted to alcohol.  The article states,

“It starts with a beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail. Then there’s another … and another … and another. You watch as your family member or friend slowly changes with each tip of the bottle.  It’s a routine you’ve witnessed repeatedly — and it never gets less painful to watch. So, what can you do? Addiction psychiatrist Akhil Anand, MD, offers these tips to help you persevere.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling.

Addictions Signs of Substance Abuse

Many family members do not notice the signs of addiction.  It is important to identify these signs so that one can properly help before it becomes too late.  Addiction is a disease but it is something that can be controlled through proper intervention and coping methods.  Substance Abuse Counselors can help others through the issues of addiction and help them find ways to better cope through the difficulties addiction can produce.

Knowing the signs in one’s children or in friends and family can be key in stopping addiction from becoming far worst.  It can help lead one to the help one needs.  Being diligent and alert in what friends and family are doing and noticing changes in life style can be the key in saving a friend or family member, or even own child.

There are numerous behavioral signs of addiction. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification


The article, “The Warning Signs of Addiction and How To Help” from Avera’s Behavioral Health Team takes a closer look at signs of addiction.  The article emphasizes the critical importance of noticing addiction signs and what to particularly look out for.  Possible signs of hiding substances, irritability, or behavioral changes are all listed.  Ultimately, helping the person find help is the key. The article states,

“Addiction is among the most difficult diseases to treat. Part of the reason for this is because in 60 to 80% of cases, mental health conditions are intertwined with the abuse of alcohol or drugs “When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s likely they’re also facing a mental health condition,” said Malia Holbeck, LCSW-PIP, outpatient manager with Avera’s Addiction Recovery Program. Holbeck said that’s why professional support is recommended to treat the person. Going it alone – without a pro backing your efforts – can lead to failure.”

“The Warning Signs of Addiction and How To Help”. Behavioral Health Team. July 26th, 2022. Avera

To read the entire article, please click here


Substance abuse is a major problem in our society. It leads to crime, violence, and other problems. Substance abuse is also a major health problem. It can lead to addiction, disease, and death. We need to do something about this problem.

Signs of Addiction

The signs of addiction can be divided into three categories: physical, psychological, and behavioral. Physical signs include tolerance (needing more of the substance to get the same effect), withdrawal (experiencing negative symptoms when not using the substance), and cravings (intense desires to use the substance). Psychological signs include preoccupation with using the substance, loss of control over one’s use of the substance, and continued use despite negative consequences.

The signs of addiction for family and friends may include changes in behavior, mood, and physical appearance. Family and friends may also notice a change in the person’s social life, work life, and hobbies. The person may become more isolated and withdrawn, and their relationships may suffer. They may also begin to neglect their personal hygiene and appearance.  There may also be financial problems and difficulty keeping up with work or school.   Also, if a friend or family member has experienced a loss or experienced a tragedy, if over time, they do not seem to resume normal activities, one may need to check on their progress and check and see if they are using drugs or other substances. If you are concerned about someone you love, it is important to talk to them about your concerns and get help from a professional if needed.  If you notice any of these changes in a loved one, it may be time to seek help.

There are many signs that a teen may be addicted to drugs or alcohol. These include changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal from friends and activities, secrecy, lying, and financial problems. Teens may also have difficulty concentrating, sleeping, or eating. They may also become more withdrawn, irritable, or aggressive. If you suspect your teen may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get help right away.

Preventing Substance Abuse in Teens and Family

The best way to prevent substance abuse in teens is through a family-based approach. This means that parents need to be involved in their child’s life and be aware of what they are doing. They also need to provide support and guidance to their child so that they can make good decisions. Additionally, families need to be able to communicate openly about difficult topics like substance abuse.

Parents who take the time to care will find any negative signs.  It is when parents do not look for the signs because they become to busy in their own life that bad things such as substance abuse and addiction occur.  By caring, many bad things can be prevented.


By taking time to care for friends, teens and family, individuals can easily spot the signs of addiction.  It is when individuals become to enveloped in their lives that simple signs are missed.  It is important to be aware and see the glaring physical, behavioral, or events that occur in another in order to process a bad change taking place.  It is not a difficult thing but only a thing that requires attentiveness and priorities for the overall health of others.

If the signs listed above manifest, talk to the individual and if necessary, guide them to substance abuse counselors or appropriate healthcare and mental healthcare professionals.

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling Certification.  After completion of the required courses in substance abuse, professionals can then earn the four year certification.

Additional Resources

“Recognizing Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction, Part I”. Felicilda-Reynaldo, Rhea Faye D.  Medsurg Nursing; Pitman Vol. 23, Iss. 6,  (Nov/Dec 2014): 391-396. Access here

“Symptoms of Addiction”. Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD. April 30th, 2022. Verywellmind. Access here

“Signs of Drug Addiction”. Paula Spencer Scott. January 27th, 2021. WebMD. Access here

“Signs of Addiction”. FHE Health. Access here

Smoking and Addiction

Smoking is one of the most common addictions and bad habits people face.  It is extremely unhealthy yet many turn to it to calm nerves and anxiety.  This dependency makes smoking and its ingredients extremely addictive and dangerous.  So many try to break the unhealthy habit but are unable to due to tobacco and nicotine within the cigarette.  Learning to cope with the addiction and cravings take time.  Some individuals require substance abuse counseling while others go to support groups.  Others look to patches and other approaches to curb the physical and mental desire.  Trying to break the cycle of addiction can be difficult but with proper coping and counseling, one can finally become free of smoking.

Why is smoking so addictive and unhealthy? Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic goals


The article, “Why is tobacco so addictive?” by Joe Phealon looks closer at the addictive nature of tobacco and smoking.  He states,

“Nicotine is especially addictive when smoked or otherwise taken into the lungs because “the onset of the stimulant-like effects occurs very rapidly through this route of administration,” David Ledgerwood, a clinical psychologist in the Substance Abuse Research Division at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, told Live Science in an email.”

The article continues, “If someone smokes regularly for months and years, their brain will become used to having nicotine to the point where, eventually, “they need nicotine to function well,” Ledgerwood said. During periods when the addicted individual does not smoke, they may experience physical withdrawal symptoms until their brain can adjust to the nicotine’s absence.”

“Why is tobacco so addictive?”. Joe Phealon.  Live Science. July 17th, 2022

To read the entire article, please click here



Smoking tobacco is a common practice throughout the world and has been for centuries. While the specific reasons for why people smoke vary from person to person, there are some general reasons that are often cited. These include wanting to relax, wanting to feel more alert, and wanting to socialize with others. There are a number of negative health effects associated with smoking, including an increased risk of developing cancer, lung disease, and other respiratory problems.

Smoking is addictive because it contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. When people smoke, the nicotine enters their bloodstream and goes to their brain, where it binds to receptors and causes a feeling of pleasure. Over time, people who smoke cigarettes develop a tolerance to nicotine and need to smoke more and more cigarettes to get the same feeling of pleasure. Nicotine is an organic compound that is found in tobacco leaves. It is also the main psychoactive ingredient in cigarettes. Nicotine acts as a stimulant, and it increases alertness and reduces anxiety. It also has a calming effect on the body, and it can help to relieve stress.  This can lead to addiction.

Health Risks of Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is linked to an increased risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Smoking is also a major contributor to respiratory problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition to the health risks posed by smoking, there are also economic consequences. Cigarette smoking is estimated to cost the US economy billions of dollars each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

Smoking cigarettes introduces harmful chemicals into the lungs, which can damage the delicate tissue and lead to a number of serious health problems. The chemicals in tobacco smoke cause inflammation and irritation, and over time can damage the airways and lungs. This can lead to conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.

Quit Smoking

There are many ways to stop smoking, but not all of them are effective for everyone. Some people find that cold turkey is the best method, while others find that gradual reduction works best for them. Some people use nicotine replacement therapy, which can help to ease withdrawal symptoms and make quitting less difficult. There are also many prescription medications that can help with quitting smoking, and it is always best to talk to a doctor before starting any new medication.

Addiction counselors, peers, friends and support groups can also play large roles in encouragement.  It is also important to avoid places where one might find smoking.  The addictive nature is complex because it is both physical and also mental.  Good support is key in breaking the bad habit.


In conclusion, smoking is a highly addictive behavior that is detrimental to one’s health. Quitting smoking is very difficult, but it is possible with the right resources and support. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are many organizations that can help, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the American Lung Association.

Smoking is a difficult but rewarding process. It takes time, patience, and perseverance to break the habit. However, the benefits of quitting smoking are numerous. Quitting smoking reduces your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. It also improves your overall health, including your respiratory and cardiovascular health. Additionally, quitting smoking can save you a significant amount of money over time.

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling.  After completing the courses, one can then apply for certification and help utilize their talents in aiding others overcome addiction to smoking.

Additional Resources

“Nicotine control: E-cigarettes, smoking and addiction”. KirstenBell and HelenKeane.  International Journal of Drug Policy Volume 23, Issue 3, May 2012, Pages 242-247. Access here

“What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?”. WebMed Editorial Contributors. WEBMED.  August 3rd 2022. Access here

“Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking”. CDC.  Access here

“How to Quit Smoking.  The American Lung Association.  Access here

“Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting”. National Cancer Institute. Dec 19th, 2017. Access here

Substance Abuse Counseling Certification Blog on Addiction and Heredity

Addiction is a disease.  Some substances are more naturally addictive, while others are more prone genetically to certain substances.  Some individuals may exhibit substance abuse but never become addicted, while others due to family tree genetics, may experience addiction very easily to certain substances.  It is important to always avoid dangerous substances but also be careful with legal substances that can become addictive.  This involves temperance but also knowing one’s family history with addiction.  Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification

Is part of addiction a heredity and genetic thing? Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification


The article, “Is Addiction Hereditary?”from Cleveland Clinic healthessentials takes a closer look at heredity and addiction.  The article states,

“The genetic connection to addiction comes through inherited levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter made in your brain. Think of dopamine as your brain’s reward center. Basically, it acts as a “feel-good” hormone. High levels of dopamine can fuel poor impulse control and tilt someone toward addictive behaviors.  “Now, that doesn’t mean that if you have the genes, or if you have family members that have struggled with addiction, that you’re going to develop an addiction”, explains Dr. Anand. “It just means you’re more prone to it.” In other words, genetics indicate a predisposition — not a destiny.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling.