A pregnancy would totally change my approach to treatment. We’re not ONLY talking about the women’s health and well being, we’re now talking about another person involved. The choices she’s made and continues to make, not only affect her, but they also are directly affecting someone else. Not only would I provide psychodeducational sessions about the importance of taking care of her self but also the effects these substances have on the child. Drugs can cause problems during and after the pregnancy. For example, as a resort of using, she may have a preterm labor, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Using may also affect the baby after he/she are born as well. According to March of Dimes, they may he low birth weight, smaller than normal head size, heart defects, birth defects, infections (hepatitis C and HIV), and Neonatal abstinence syndrome (baby is addicted to drugs and goes through withdrawals after birth). Babies will also have problems in learning and behavior problems.
I have to be super sensitive and aware of the way things are said. I need to be aware of psychological issues arising from the pregnancy. Pregnant women’s hormones and inconsistency may have the mother to be on edge and feeling and acting differently at any given time. According to Good Therapy, “Research shows that when both partners want a child and have basic agreements about parenting and relationship arrangements, a baby can bring a renewed sense of excitement and joint meaning to a marriage or intimate partnership. However, if there is ambivalence about the child on the part of either partner, a birth is more likely to hinder, not help, the level of harmony in a couple.” I need to be aware of all the changes that will be taking place. I have to be open minded and understanding of the changing in her moods, feelings, and thoughts. I have to be non-judgmental and empathic with how big of a deal being pregnant is and how life-changing this has to be for her. I need to keep in mind that women sometimes get depression pre or post pregnancy. I may need to refer her to food nutrition programs. It’s also very important the age of my client. Depending on her age, I will provide her with social support for women that she can relate to.
When I first read the question, “how would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant?” I thought REPORT HER. After doing some research, according to Bridges to care, child protective services ONLY apply to children that ARE BORN. SO I can do nothing to help that fetus if that is her choice. It will break my heart to hear about what she’s doing to unborn child. However, the best I can do if a woman does not stop using, it’s important to use strategies to encourage her to reduce using. I will also refer her to supportive services. Some issues will definitely arise for me. I don’t want to see anyone using but especially when someone is directly putting someone else’s life at risk that have no choice makes me sad. I will have to work on hiding my emotions and try to be non-bias in this process.


Stay as Far as Possible

As I’ve mentioned before, substance abuse was always TABOO to me. For as long as I remember, my dad would tuck me in and say, “Remember no drugs or alcohol.” I understood that those two things were BAD. I didn’t know why exactly but I knew they were bad and to stay away from them. As I started to get a little bit older, Sunday school taught us that God forbids mind-altering substances. I found out that these were substances that alter your mind. Why would anyone want to take something that alters your mind and make you into something you’re not! I didn’t understand. But I knew that it was still something bad and something I’d never even think of doing. As I started to attend high school, people would talk about how amazing it feels to be high. How much fun they have when they drink. I started to understand that people do these things for the feeling they get. However, while it may feel good to drink or do drugs, in all its forms, death, can be an outcome as alcoholic poisoning or overdosing on drugs. How horrible! I didn’t understand why anyone would jeopardize his or her life for that feeling. Then there was addiction! It just kept getting worse. So for me, it was VERY easy to say, “No, thanks. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink.” People would always say, “But how are you having fun? It makes me so loose.” Well, if I were any “looser”, I would be out of control. I’m naturally a high person. Meaning, I’m always laughing, talking, and having a good time. I don’t need any substance to make me that way. To work with client’s making different choices, I would be open minded as to what lead them to such choices and where they want to go from here. I don’t judge anyone for their choices; I actually empathize with individuals that suffer from substance abuse. I often argue with friends that say, “Marijuana is not mind altering. No one has died from using it. I actually drive better while high.” Especially after taking this class and reading that Marijuana is a psychoactive drug (mind altering). I couldn’t be happier reading that. I can only educate my friends. I can’t control what they do. I plan on giving my future kids the same talks my dad did daily! It definitely stuck with me and I hope my kids understand the severity of their actions when it comes to substance use.


I’ve always had a hard time focusing. I could swear that at staff meeting I retain no information because I don’t remember hearing anything being talked about. I can’t sit still for long periods of time to do any kind of work. So prior to starting grad school I went and got diagnosed with ADHD. It was such a simple assessment. She prescribed me some meds but I’ve read the negative side effects online and was not interested in taking any. But I just wanted to have them just incase. Six months later, I was faced with a midterm. I’m known to fail tests in general because I cannot sit still to study so I have a hard time retaining any information. I was not going to fail this time. I began to study but it wasn’t happening. I began eating chips. Then I grabbed cookies. Then I went outside. I sat in the grass thinking it may help me relax and stay focused. I went back inside and sat at the table with my husband as he was studying for his CFP. I could not do it. I began to get irritated and short in temper. I couldn’t stand anything anyone said to me. The stress started getting to me. So I decided to take my ADHD medication. It worked like magic. I sat and studied for 6 hours. I got an A on my exam and I couldn’t be happier. The funny thing is, this whole summer I’ve had to do so many papers and assignments. I’ve been able to sit for 5-6 hours at a time. Is it possible that it was all in my head? Was it the nerves of studying for a test? Did the nerves get the best of me or am I really ADHD? If I am truly ADHD then how can I sit and focus for so long like I have been? I’ve been fasting for a month now and I thought I’d have no self-control to do any sort of work. But surprisingly, I’ve been able to focus more than I have in my entire life. My will power to succeed has taken over. I had NO OTHER CHOICE. I couldn’t pop a pill because I’m fasting. I had two choices- FAIL- OR SUCCEED (somehow). And failure is not an option.
According to Steven Stonsy, “Self-regulation is more attainable when focused on values rather than feelings.” How powerful! The anxiety and fear took over. And all I could think about was, “I’m going to fail because I have ADHD.” In a way getting labeled does more hurt than harm. Yalda Uhls wrote, “A good self-regulator will pay attention to task, persist when it becomes difficult, demonstrate flexibility and be confident that additional effort will lead to positive outcomes” Maybe that’s my problem. When it gets difficult to focus, I stop, and blame it on ADHD. My confidence was lacking. I didn’t think I could do well because I never really tried in undergrad and high school. I didn’t CARE is the truth. In the past few months, my will power, determination, condience, and organized cognitions have helped me overcome that bump in the road. I have anxiety when things are approaching two weeks in advance and I set goals for myself to get them done as soon as possible so they don’t linger in my mind. The mindfulness exercises I’ve read about and began practicing really help. I love Yoga, and that seems to keep me centered. I’m a working progress!


12-Steps Facilitation of Treatment

My spiritutal believes in God and his higher power relate to 12-step facilitation of treatment. In my personal life, I make it a point to admit my sins to God just like AA members have to admit to god the exact nature of their wrongs. I also believe in asking God for help with removing my shortcoming and all defects in my character, just as AA members do. It’s interesting to read steps 8 and 9 of the twelve steps because I feel incomplete and bothered if there are people I’ve harmed and have no try to make amends with them. I believe making amends with people gives me piece of mind. I try my best to pray 5 times a day because i believe through prayer I’m able to remember God and have an opportunity to ask him for help with making me a better person and closer to him. This reminds me of step 11 from AA, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of HIs will for us and the power to carry that out.”

According to Capuzzi, “it is in a group that the client makes the most progress toward significant therapeutic movement and suggests that as social beings, we are influenced more by a group of people than by just on person for any number of contextual, environmental, or personal reasons.”(pg.246) I believe 12 steps facilitations of treatment are very important and beneficial for substance abuse individuals. The steps are obtained at clients own speed. Even if my client is only able to listen, I believe it’ll be beneficial.


If you asked me if I supported the use of pharamcotheraphy in the treatment of addictions BEFORE taking my addictions class, I would say NO. I do not support giving a different type of drug to “help” a client quit using a different one. However, the more I read about what addictions do to our bodies and minds I would say I’m 30% supportive. I do not fully support pharmacotheraphy. BUT I do believe in some cases it most certainly is beneficial. It would be a judgment call for the therapist as one of the last resorts. I understand withdrawal symptoms could be brutal and prevent clients from seeking sobriety or maintaining sobriety. For example, for someone with a heroin addiction, according to Coalition against Drug Abuse one of the most effective treatments available is methadone. “Methadone is a synthetic opiate that eliminates the withdrawal symptoms associated with ending heroin use. It also stops the effects of heroin.” Alsoacamprosate, naltrexone and disulfiram have been approved for use as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for alcohol dependence. Acamprosate and naltrexone reduce the core symptoms of alcohol dependence. Disulfiram is an option for relapse prevention. Do I believe alcoholics NEED these drugs to have a successful journey of being sober and staying that way? No.

Chapter 7 Pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence. (n.d.). alcohol. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/877AC32A7ADD8AEECA2576C00007B5C7/$File/evid7.pdf

This is a BATTLE, and we WILL WIN

“… we get so involved in the role of counselor that we sometimes forget the client inside us. It can become habit to separate ourselves from our clients with a sense of self-righteousness that we do not have the problems they do.”

When I read this quote, I couldn’t help but feel like I could connect to it. I don’t believe a person has to have used any kind of drug to feel empathy and caring towards clients. And that’s what we always need to think about. Yes, we are counselors. But what makes us effective counselors. The ability to make connections and build rapport will always keep us grounded and help us not forget the client inside us.
Alcohol is against my religion and I have always stayed far from it. The second reason I stayed away was because of my dad. Every night since I was ten he would give me a kiss goodnight and say, “Remember, stay away from boys, drugs, and alcohol.” And for some reason those things stuck with me. Well 2 out of 3 anyways! Boys can be so charming sometimes! Anyways, people believe that it makes it hard for me to connect or understand what they’re going through while using or drinking because I’ve never had the “pleasure” to. I may not be able to know what you are feeling when you’re in a state of being under the influence BUT I don’t need to in order to help you overcome this difficult obstacle you’re facing in your life. I don’t need to know HOW you’re feeling because quiet frankly I will never know exactly how any of my clients are feeling. I can however, put my self in their shoes and see how it would affect my family. I could feel the look on their faces and the sadness and difficulty in their stories.

It will always be “us” and not “them” when working with my clients. I’m a firm believe that working and going in this battle as a TEAM we can overcome anything. And I say “we” because once the client walks into my office, it is not his hardship alone anymore. We will be tackling this problem as if it was my own, with a 100% commitment and effort. We will look at every possible option for the optimal level of success. It’s important to “believe” in your client and their capabilities. If you don’t believe in them, how will they believe in themselves?

“Success is a journey, not a destination” *\o/*

I believe in the whole person approach because “those who are assessed and successfully treated for an impairing addiction will most likely draw on various internal and external resources in recovery, and change aspects of lifestyle and identify seemingly unrelated to identified addictions.” (Capuzzi pg.82)
I’m very comfortable with motivating others! I was a high school cheerleading coach and I feel like to be able to cheer others on you have to believe in them! You have to show them you care and you’re all about them! According to Capuzzi, “Counselors who are skilled at helping clients see the benefit of making changes in their lives precipitate the most efficacious outcomes when they encourage client motivation.” Motivation is such an important part of the process. If motivation is not present, I am positive change isn’t possible. I need to help the client identify external motivations and intrinsic motivation. However, as Capuzzi stated, “intrinsic motivation is emphasized for greater change.” I’m nonjudgmental and I believe EVERYONE can accomplish greatness and overcome any obstacle they face with some motivation. All they need is to believe in themselves!
I’m a very hopeful person. I’m hopeful in my daily life. Even when I’m not sure what is going on, I know in the end it will be just fine! I feel like a huge part of that comes from being religious. I’m confident that everything will be okay as long as I believe in myself and my abilities. In the end, if we don’t believe in ourselves how will we ever succeed.

Speed..my love


Once I read the prompt for this week’s blog post, I couldn’t think of a single substance/behavior pattern I considered a beloved “friend”. Last night it finally hit me driving home from a friend’s house. My beloved friend is “speed.” I was driving home an Audi s8 and it goes from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. It was a red light and as soon as it turned green I just went just like any other time. But this time I thought about the blog prompt. The feeling that I got was something I love and need when I’m driving. Going from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds sucks me in my drivers seat, makes my heart race, puts a smile on my face, and makes me feel so good inside! I don’t hesitate if I’m coming up short to make a right or left turn I just go. Weaving in and out of traffic is exhilarating. It doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad day. It’s sure to brighten my day up REAL QUICK. I enjoy driving a 330i manual. So much control and when I’m switching gears I feel like it’s a negative energy outlet! I can’t stand being in the passenger seat while someone is driving the speed limit or gets nervous switching lanes. It drives me CRAZY. I would say it kind of gives me anxiety. I feel like I need to speed to feel alive. I LOVE rollercoasters and I enjoy sitting right in the front seat so I have nothing but wind. I feel like I’m driving it. I’ve gone skydiving twice and my husband thought it was so odd that I didn’t have an ounce of fear getting ready to do it. I was so excited on the plane and my favorite part was my body hanging out of the airplane in limbo. Free falling was amazing. The fastest a human can fall is 128 mph before hitting terminal velocity. My heart races and my mind goes blank. The way I feel is the only thing on my mind. It completely clears my mind. I’m well aware of the risks but the feeling is way to good to give up any of my activities or my driving.


I feel like this makes me sound like a horrible person. I’m not proud of my driving. I know it’s dangerous. I enjoy it more when I’m the only one out on the streets because I really don’t want to endanger anyone else’s life. I worry more about others lives than mine. I’ve gone 115 on the highway and didn’t even notice until I looked down and immediately slowed down. It’s gotten to a point where I don’t even think about it when I’m doing it. My friends say I’m reckless and I should calm down. It just seems like I CAN’T. I feel like it’s in my blood sometimes. It’s just who I am. I know it’s illegal. I’ve gotten pulled over a few times, and the cops have let me slide. Then funny thing is when the times I’ve gotten pulled over, I didn’t even notice I was speeding!


Honestly, I don’t know what would be a good treatment. I wish I could say classes would help but I know nothing will. It has to be me making a conscious decision in wanting to slow down and be conscious of what I’m doing and letting go of that amazing rush it gives me. Step 1 is to quit being in denial right? Step 1 = success.



Addiction, in it’s Many Faces


    It’s very interesting to read about treatment options for process addictions. I found myself intrigued by a classmate’s response to provide inpatient treatment for an individual with a cybersex addiction. I didn’t understand why in the world would that individual need inpatient treatment. I always thought of inpatient as a sever and last resort type of treatment for clients that will end up harming themselves physically. When I thought of addictions before this chapter, I thought of chemical addictions that are indigested and harmful to the body. I was aware that other addictions that weren’t ingested are dangerous but not as dangerous or serious as chemical addictions. I believe society amplifies chemical addictions and doesn’t really touch base on process addictions. I now believe that process addictions are just as important and harmful but in different ways. They both have the obsessive nature that ends up impacting your career, relationship, and health. But a part of me believes that someone with a process addiction has a less traumatizing treatment advantage because they don’t experience those extreme physical withdrawals that chemical addictions leave you with.

     After intense research and reading on process addictions. I accept any addiction that causes harm to your body AND you continue to use it despite all the harm it’s causing your career, relationship, or health.

      I’ve always used the word addiction lightly in my life. If I become obsessed with drinking only apple juice for months, I called that an addiction. If I only enjoyed eating Hot Fries as a snack, I’d call that an addiction. I understood that an addiction has an obsessive component to it but I never was knowledgeable about what other characteristics were important to consider be an addiction. Now, I think of “preoccupation with the substance/ activity, withdrawal signs after not engaging with the activity or substance, increased tolerance for the substance or activity in or to receive the same effect, and continued use of the substance or involvement in the activity despite negative consequences” (Capuzzi, pg. 41). It’s important to consider all these important characteristics of a certain behavior before calling it an addiction.

      I definitely believe that spiritual believes shape your view of client’s problems. For example, in my religion, any substance that can alter your mind is considered a sin. So even one drink of alcohol or any ingested drug, no matter the quantity is a sin because it can lead to greater harm (obsessive and overuse). BUT, I never thought of that phrase “mind altering” to even “encompass behavior patterns” (Capuzzi, pg.41). That unhealthy behavior pattern (sexual addictions, work, gambling, or any process addiction) would be “mind altering” but it is! It was very eye opening for me.

Opiate Addictions

After reviewing the web references, I really enjoyed and gravitated towards a program called Building Blocks For A Healthy Future from the Substance abuse and mental health Services Administration. According to SAMHSA, It’s where parents, caregivers, and educators can find great tips and tools that help children make healthy decisions as they grow up. It helps advance the behavioral health of the nation and reduce the impact of substance abuse on America’s communities.


In order to assist someone similar to Sahira with an opiate addiction I’m comfortable using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques in order to help the client address destructive thought patterns. I would also be comfortable teaching the client some relaxation techniques that would help when Sahira felt nervous and felt the need to use.