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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.

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6 Ways To Catch A Lie

liar

Do you ever wish you were better at spotting a liar?  Do you have trouble trusting your teen, spouse, or employee? Here’s some info that will help you be a better lie detector!

It takes a lot more mental effort to lie than it does to tell the truth because it’s hard work to remember all the details of the lies. This fact can help us catch a lie if we know what to look for.

Psychologist Jacqueline Evans of the University of Texas and her colleagues developed a set of lie-detecting guidelines that anyone can use.  Here are six cues that, when combined, signal a lie.

  1. Missing Details–A person honestly recounting an event might mention the kind of music playing in the background or the color of the flowers on the table. A liar skips many little details because they are difficult to reconstruct or remember in later renditions.
  2. Claims of Faulty Memory–Liars may claim to have a poor memory, when the truth is that they can’t remember their own lies!
  3. Corrections or Contradictions–Liars often heavily edit their stories as they are retelling them. So pay attention–if this happens frequently enough, you may be hearing a lie.
  4. Effortful Thinking–If it appears the person is putting a lot of effort into coming up with their story, then that is a good indication that you may be hearing a lie.
  5. Nerves or Tension–It takes a great liar, or a psychopath, to pull off a string of falsehoods without looking at least somewhat anxious.
  6. Unusually Slow Speed–Liars often need to take quite a bit longer to tell their stories because they need to self-edit and try to be consistent.

What’s your favorite way to spot a liar?  I would love to hear your comments! You can email me at randy@carepossible.org

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

Special thanks to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PH.D., and Psychology Today 12/14 for this info.

7 Signs of Emotional Maturity

Temper Tantrum

I’ve noticed that adults rarely think in terms of maturity with each other. In fact, we grown ups tend to expect maturity from other grown ups, right? And that often leads to disappointment.

Here are 7 Signs of Emotional Maturity. Take a moment to honestly assess how you are doing in each of these areas.

1. The ability to deal constructively with reality.

2. The capacity to adapt to change.

3. A relative freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties.

4. The capacity to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving.

5. The ability to relate to other people in a consistent manner with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness.

6. The capacity to direct one’s instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets.

7. The capacity to love.

If you find yourself lacking in one or more of the above criteria, you are not alone. Many of us grew up in homes where these traits were not modeled or taught. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to grow up! Ask a trusted friend or mentor to help you grow in the areas needed, or seek a coach or counselor for expert guidance.

I would love to hear your comments! You can email me at randy@carepossible.org

Websites: www.carepossible.orgwww.thecrossing.comwww.randymoraitis.com

Designer Drugs: K2, Spice, Bath Salts–10 Things You Must Know

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

K2, Spice, and bath salts are designer drugs that frequently make the news because of their link to overdose deaths and abnormal behavior. In fact, just this past March there were several teen deaths in Washington State caused by designer drugs.

Designer drugs problems are not isolated to America. Europe has seen a huge influx of designer drugs, and earlier this month New Zealand actually banned all designer drugs making them illegal. (Something I believe all countries must do!)

I learned the truth about these substances at a seminar taught by a leading physician/scientist in the field of addiction and designer drugs. Here are the important highlights that everyone needs to know:

  1. K2 and Spice are often considered a marijuana replacement because they resemble marijuana and are smoked.
  2. K2 and Spice are actually nothing like marijuana in their chemical composition.
  3. K2 and Spice are chemically similar to a combination of methamphetamine and LSD.
  4. K2, Spice, and Bath Salts are very dangerous. The original inventor said that these substances were not for human consumption.
  5. Designer drugs can be very addictive.
  6. K2, Spice, and bath salts can cause permanent brain damage or psychosis, including schizophrenia, after one use.
  7. Designer drugs kill brain cells.
  8. Spice causes delirium, a sudden severe confusion.
  9. People can have flashbacks from Spice and bath salts.
  10. Chemists frequently change the molecular composition of designer drugs to stay one step ahead of drug tests, so designer drugs often go undetected.

I urge every parent and care giver of children and teens to learn the facts about designer drugs and then share them with your kids. Kids think that designer drugs are harmless because they can buy them in stores or online. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to educate our families and our communities about the serious dangers of designer drugs!

Please share this post with others to save lives and prevent overdoses.

I would love to hear your comments! You can email me at randy@carepossible.org.

Websites: www.carepossible.orgwww.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

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New Global Leaders In Causing Illness–Substance Abuse and Mental Health

According to new data published in the world’s leading general medical journal The Lancet, mental and substance use disorders were the leading causes of illness worldwide in 2010.

Harvey A. Whiteford, MD, of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues wrote, “These disorders were responsible for more of the global burden than were HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, diabetes, or transport injuries.”

Overall, mental and substance use disorders were the fifth leading cause of premature death and disease worldwide, and accounted for 22.9% of all nonfatal illness — more than any other disease!This is an alarming trend and in a press release Dr. Whiteford said, “barriers to mental health care must be addressed to reduce the global prevalence of mental and substance use disorders.”

A second study published alongside Dr. Whiteford’s stated that opioid dependence was responsible for the greatest burden of disease among all illicit drugs, accounting for 55% of the 78,000 deaths linked to drug use in 2010. The study also showed that more than two-thirds of individuals dependent on drugs were male — 64% each for cannabis and amphetamines and 70% each for opioids and cocaine, and the proportion of drug dependence increased in the highest-income countries.

What can you do to address the barriers to mental health and addiction treatment?

  • Get educated. We cannot fix what we do not understand.
  • Early intervention. If you or someone you know needs treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues, do all you can to encourage immediate treatment and research the treatment options.
  • Remove the stigma. Mental health and addiction issues should be looked at as disease, not personal failing. Surround these issues with support, not stigma or negativity.

To learn more or to help break through the barrier to treatment that so many face, visit www.carepossible.org. CarePossible is a nonprofit focused on making mental health care and addiction treatment possible for everyone.

I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Websites: www.thecrossing.com and www.randymoraitis.com.

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9 Symptoms of Depression

depression

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Depression is a very common problem. Approximately 10% of the US population, over 30 million Americans, suffer from depression–but most could be successfully treated. The first step towards healing is to know the symptoms of depression.

Here are the symptoms so you can tell if you, or someone you care about, may have clinical depression:

There is an mnemonic that mental health professionals use to list the symptoms:

SIGECAPS.

S—SADNESS—the first, most obvious symptom–more than just the blues or a funk, but a deep sadness.

S—SLEEP—some with depression have difficulty sleeping, especially between 2-4am, others with depression want to sleep all the time. They’d rather sleep than participate in life.

I—INTERESTS—the person is no longer interested in doing what were once their favorite activities.

G—GUILT—feeling guilty can contribute to depression.

E—ENERGY—feeling like you have no energy is a common symptom of depression. It feels like the wind was knocked out of your sails.

C—CONCENTRATION—people with depression find it very hard to focus so they have trouble with work or schoolwork. Their poor performance leads to more problems which can perpetuate the depression.

A—APPETITE—a sudden change in appetite is a common symptom with depression. 1 in 4 people gain weight, 3 in 4 lose weight—we see this a lot with people going through a painful divorce—the divorce diet.

P—PSYCHO-MOTOR ABNORMALITIES—for example when you’re depressed it may feel like you’re moving in slow motion.

S—SUICIDAL THOUGHTS—very common—and if you or someone you know ever has suicidal thoughts, especially if there is a time and a method—like “I am going to take pills tonight at midnight”—call 911 immediately!

For someone to be diagnosed with clinical depression, they need to have 5 or more of these 9 symptoms for 2 weeks or longer. If you think you may have depression, then make an appointment with a doctor or counselor today. There is hope for healing, so take the first step today!

If you or a loved one are affected by depression, please reach out for help today. Email: randy@randymoraitis.com
Phone: 949.303.8264
Websites: www.randymoraitis.com or www.carepossible.org

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 affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. 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 helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

Should I Drug Test My Teen?

teen drug testing

Should I Drug Test My Teen?

People often ask me whether they should drug test their teen. I believe that home drug testing of teens is a great tool, but like any tool, it must be used properly. Here are some facts to guide you in your decision making:

Easy Access–Home drug tests can be purchased online or in most pharmacies. Before purchasing, be sure to do some research online, or ask your physician or pharmacist for their recommendation. Be aware that home drug tests do not test for every drug, but they are still very useful.

Peer Pressure Victory–Most teens will inevitably be faced with peer pressure or circumstances to try drugs. If you let your teen know that they will be randomly drug tested, then you are giving them a safe way out of these pressure filled situations. This can be very powerful!

Tested Positive—Now What?–Think through how you will respond if your teen tests positive. Start with an honest heart-to-heart and try to find out what is going on in your teen’s life. Schedule an appointment with a counselor specializing in addictions. Continue testing and if there are more positive results get your teen into treatment.

Tested Negative—Now What?–A negative test deserves praise and still serves as an opportunity for honest discussion about drugs and alcohol—a subject that many are uncomfortable to discuss. Create a culture in your family where it is safe to talk about anything.

Also, keep in mind that a negative test may also mean that drugs have simply already passed through your teen’s system and are no longer detectable. If you observe suspicious behavior, follow your intuition and test again soon or consult with your physician or a counselor.

Parenting teens is hard! The wise parent will use every tool in the toolbox and drug testing is a great tool. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on this subject. You can email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com or www.thecrossing.com.

5 Questions to Ask Your Teen

By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC

I once heard it said that raising a teenager is like trying to nail jello to a tree–very challenging. I should know, I’m on my fifth teen and I’ve got the gray hairs to prove it!

Parents of teens have so much to worry about when their teens go out–alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, texting while driving–the list is very long and very scary.

Before your teen goes out, as part of setting clear expectations and boundaries, be sure to ask these five questions:

1. What will you be doing?

2. Where will you be going?

3. Who will you be with?

4. When will you be home?

5. How can I reach you?

By asking these questions, and only allowing your teen to go out once you have the answers, you are being a very proactive and responsible parent and sending a message to your teen that you love them and are paying attention.

Next blog–“Should I drug test my teen?”

I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on this subject. You can email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit my websites ==www.randymoraitis.com or www.thecrossing.com

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FAQs About Addiction

addiction

Here is a brief list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) I receive about addiction:

1. How do I know if it really is an addiction? 

When a person requires increasing amounts of a habit forming substance, or compulsive behavior, they likely have an addiction. If there are negative consequences because of the substance use or behavior, this is usually a clear indicator that there is an addiction requiring treatment.

2. What should I do if think I am addicted?

According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) addiction is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual affliction that is very difficult to treat without help. If you think you are struggling with an addiction, seek help immediately! A great first step is to attend a support group such as AA or NA. Depending on the addiction, a medically supervised detox may be necessary, so consulting with a physician or checking into an addiction treatment center is advised.

3. What should I do if I suspect a loved on of having an addiction?

  • Confront them in love and let them know how their behavior makes you feel. Do not pretend as if nothing is wrong.
  • Do not enable your loved one! Do not give them money and do not cover for them. Let them experience the consequences of their choices.
  • Go to an Al-Anon meeting or similar support group for friends and families of addicts.
  • Do your best to get your loved one into treatment. Different parts of the treatment program include: detox, rehab, sober living, working a 12 step program with a sponsor, counseling, and having a recovery coach to aid in relapse prevention.
  • Consider an intervention if you have difficulty getting your loved on into treatment.

Addiction is a life and death problem. If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, get help now. For a list of resources to get you started click here.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to email me or visit my website.