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3 Ways to Tell if You Have an Addiction

addiction
By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Often times clients will ask me how to tell whether they actually have an addiction (or how to tell if a family member may have an addiction). A great rule of thumb is to use the 3 C’s:

The 3 C’s

  1. CONSEQUENCES
  2. CRAVING
  3. CONTROL

In order to identify whether there is a problem, the first step is to ask whether one is troubled by the consequences of the use pattern. Does the person continue to use even when there are adverse consequences such as broken relationships, legal issues and loss of employment?

The second step is to ask if there is craving. Does the person want the activity they’re engaged in more and more over time? Are they often thinking about it and planning the next time to do it?

The third step is to identify if there is a control loss. Has the person lost control of the activities in their life? Whether they are drug involved, gambling involved, shopping involved or whatever. When someone is active in addiction their life is often out of control.

When someone meets the criteria of these 3 C’s, whether one, two or all three of them, then there is a good chance that they are experiencing an addiction and should receive a more thorough assessment.

If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction, please feel free to call or email me for a free consultation. Addiction is serious, but treatment can save lives.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

An Introduction to the 12 Steps

By Randy Moraaitis

If you have never been to a 12 step meeting, then you probably have no idea what the 12 steps are all about, other than perhaps associating the steps with addicts. Following is a very brief overview of the 12 steps to help spread awareness.

The 12 steps are a set of guiding or spiritual principles originally designed to help those struggling with alcoholism. The steps have proven to be a very effective tool for many people struggling with, not only alcoholism, but addictions and compulsions of many varieties including drugs, food and pornography.

The following are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:

1.  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. 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.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

A great benefit of the steps is that those who sincerely work through the 12 steps can live healthier and more honest lives than those who do not. There are numerous types of 12 step groups and meetings where one can find the steps being put into practice including:

  • AA—Alcoholics Anonymous
  • NA—Narcotics Anonymous
  • CA—Cocaine Anonymous
  • MA—Marijuana Anonymous
  • SA—Sexaholics Anonymous
  • OA—Overeaters Anonymous
  • CoDa—Codependents Anonymous
  • Al-Anon—for friends and family of addicts

12 step groups are a great source of free therapy. If someone cannot afford traditional therapy or counseling, they just might find a lot of healing in a 12 step group related to their struggles.

There are many variances between 12 step groups, so if you try one that is not a good fit, don’t give up—try another one. A simple Google search will lead to meeting schedules and descriptions.

Bottom line—the 12 steps are a great tool for healing, so if you’re new to the steps read through them a few times and see how they could grow you—even if you’re not an addict.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. For more info, or for help finding a meeting, please contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com.

Websites: www.carepossible.org and www.randymoraitis.com.

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Intervention

Intervention

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction–to drugs, alcohol, food, gambling or other behavior, then you are probably stressed, worried, frustrated and angry.

You’re probably wondering what you can do to help your loved one, or if there even is anything you can do to help your loved one. There is a myth that we must wait for an addict to bottom out. The truth is that for many addicts their bottom is death.

Addiction is a disease, and caring people do not wait for someone with a disease to die. Caring people do all they can to get the person with the disease into proper treatment.

For those afflicted with the disease of addiction, a proven way to get them into treatment is to do an intervention. Now, we have all seen interventions done on TV shows or in movies, so we all have an idea of what an intervention is like.

But the truth is that the method of doing interventions has greatly evolved over the years. No longer do we need to surprise our loved one and simply read letters to them (without even making eye contact!).

There is now a more effective (and more user friendly) method of intervention developed and refined by nationally known interventionist Brad Lamm who is the interventionist for The Today Show, Dr. Phil and The Dr. Oz Show.

This method is known as an invitational intervention and has as it’s ultimate goal to get your loved one to say yes to a change plan moving them towards healthier behaviors. With the support of the loved one’s family and friends, along with the guidance and pre-planning of the trained interventionist, the loved one will be set up for success and given an opportunity that may save their life as well as bring healing to the entire family.

If you do have a loved one struggling with addiction, you have options. As a Certified Intervention Professional I am happy to answer any questions you have and guide you towards the best help for your particular set of circumstances. Please feel free to contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com.

Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com

Mental Health and The Church

Observations from The Gathering on Mental Health and The Church held at Saddleback Church on March 28, 2014:

  • This was not a churchy pray away the problem type of event. It was very scientifically sound and included teaching from some top mental health professionals including Daniel Amen, MD, Tom Okamoto, MD and Aaron Kheriaty, MD (Professor of Psychiatry at UC Irvine).
  • The goal was to prepare church leaders to effectively deal with mental health issues because 26% of adults will have these issues and one third of these folks seek help from the local church first.
  • Another goal of the event was to reduce the stigma and reduce the fear of mental illness.
  • Science and religion should be in dialogue–not contradict each other.
  • Research shows prayer and meditation are very helpful to those with some mental health issues.
  • We’re all mentally ill on some level–it’s just a continuum–so don’t judge others!
  • Family, faith and community support are huge factors in successfully treating those with mental illness.

Conclusion–this was an amazing, much needed and much overdue event! Lives will be changed and even saved from the seeds planted at this event. Personally, I am very grateful to work at a church that is on the forefront of providing quality mental health care to our community.

You can watch a webcast of the event and download the accompanying workbook here: http://mentalhealthandthechurch.com/Webcast. The workbook is an incredible compilation of helpful resources and next steps in helping those struggling with mental health issues.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Email: randy@randymoraitis.com

Websites: www.thecrossing.com, www.thecrossing.com, www.randymoraitis.com

Codependency

Couple arguing

By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC

Have you heard the joke, “A codependent is a person who, when they die, someone else’s life flashes before their eyes?”

That joke is really an unfortunate sign of the times and indicative of just how widespread codependency is.

So exactly what is a codependent? Melody Beattie, a leading expert and author on the subject of codependency, offers up this definition:

“A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior. Codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that causes us pain.”

Causes of Codependency

The roots of codependency can often be found in one’s family of origin. If a family is dysfunctional, a child may grow up to be codependent. Physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual abuse can all lead to the abused person becoming codependent.

With the proliferation of addiction to drugs and alcohol in our society, a byproduct is that we see an increase in those who struggle with codependency.

Five Core Symptoms of Codependency

1. Difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem.

2. Difficulty setting healthy, functional boundaries.

3. Difficulty owning one’s personal reality: body, thoughts, feelings, behavior.

4. Difficulty acknowledging and meeting one’s own needs, wants, and being
interdependent.

5. Difficulty experiencing and moderately expressing reality.

Moving Toward Recovery and Away from Codependency

There is hope for the codependent! By learning to detach from the person who is the focus of codependency one can begin to be set free and start living their own life. It is important for the person struggling with codependency to learn to love themselves, find their purpose in life and learn the art of acceptance.

If you or someone you know struggles with any of the above five core symptoms, please consider taking the following steps to begin the healing process:

1. Attend a CoDa (Codependents Anonymous) support group www.coda.org.

2. See a counselor or therapist to work on pain from your past.

3. Work with a recovery coach who can help you get unstuck and have a healthy
breakthrough.

I would love to hear from you on this important topic. Contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Websites: www.randymoraitis.com and www.thecrossing.com.