Substance Abuse Specialist

Tranquil Soul Counseling

Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) & Health and Wellness Coach located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

If you find that you are becoming increasingly reliant on drugs or alcohol or have intense, uncontrollable urges to use a substance even amid negative consequences, you may have a substance abuse disorder. At Tranquil Soul Counseling in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, licensed psychotherapist Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC, offers her expertise in custom counseling to help you recover from your substance abuse disorder. Call Tranquil Soul Counseling or make an appointment online today.

Substance Abuse Q & A

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse, often referred to as addiction, is a brain disease that leads to compulsive use of a substance such as alcohol or drugs despite negative consequences. If you have a substance abuse disorder, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Feeling like you need to use the substance frequently
  • Extreme focus on getting the substance
  • Needing more of the substance to feel the same effects
  • Continuing to use the substance even though it’s affecting your work or personal relationships
  • Failing in any attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Substance abuse disorders usually develop slowly. For example, you may initially enjoy a drink after work to relax or use a drug to relieve pain, but over time, you find that you’re using the substance more and more frequently and that it interferes with your regular responsibilities.

What causes substance abuse disorder?

Substance abuse disorder is caused by changes in your brain that cause intense cravings for drugs or alcohol. These changes also make it more challenging for you to stop using the drug, even when you suffer from harmful consequences.

Furthermore, the more you use a substance, the more your brain changes — especially in the parts of your brain responsible for decision making, judgment, learning, memory, and behavior. Some drugs alter your dopamine receptors, which make you reliant on the substance to feel “normal.”

Aside from your brain chemistry, medical researchers have not identified a specific factor that makes one person more prone to addiction than another. However, some of the common risk factors for addiction include:

  • A personal or family history of addiction or other mental health disorders
  • A lack of social support from family or friends
  • Early use of a substance and peer pressure

Substance abuse is an illness, but you can recover with professional help. Mary K. can help you identify and resolve the issues at the root of your addiction and work toward sobriety. She has years of experience helping patients recover from substance abuse disorders.

How is substance abuse disorder treated?

After an initial assessment, Mary K. works with you on a customized treatment plan to identify any emotional issues at the root of your substance abuse disorder. Through individual and group counseling she can help you resolve those issues and develop strategies and tools to control your urges to use a substance. Each patient follows a unique journey to sobriety, and Mary K. offers personalized support and counseling to bring you back to your fullest life.

Call Tranquil Soul Counseling today or make an appointment online for expert substance abuse counseling services.

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