Compulsions and Addictions

For some people addictions and compulsions are just a way to get rid of bad feelings.

We believe that addictions fall into two categories. In one group, people use addictive substances as a way of connecting with a peer group and lifestyle. Traditional substance abuse treatment such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs and inpatient treatment work very well for this group. Since there are so many good services available for this group we do not offer these services but can refer you elsewhere.

The other group of people with substance abuse problems do not do it as a lifestyle but instead use the substance as a way of self-medicating to deal with anger, sadness, anxiety or guilt. People who self-medicate may do well in traditional treatment at first only to relapse over and over again when something triggers the emotions that have never been dealt with. At Russell Associates we offer specialized assessment and counseling to address the roots of these emotional reactions so that they can no longer trigger relapses.

Compulsive and addictive behaviors including obsessive and compulsive disorder, gambling, sexual addictions, eating disorders, etc. often work very much like alcohol and substance abuse. The behaviors are ways of controlling strong emotional reactions of anxiety, anger, sadness, loneliness or guilt. At Russell Associates we identify and resolve these emotional roots.