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Addiction workshop leaves Burlington residents feeling inspired

BY TAMARA VON ESTORFF

Fighting an addiction is never easy, but there’s always a way to get better.

Certified Addictions Counsellor Heidi Klett hosted a Break the Cycle of Addiction workshop in Burlington last Tuesday. Approximately five people attended the event.

“The goal of these workshops is to help adults achieve safer controlled use or maintain sober living from alcohol and drugs,” says Klett. “I believe that the quality of life, success and well-being is possible no matter what a person’s goal is.”

Klett graduated with an Honours Psychology Degree from Trent University and has been working for the CCAF (Certified Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation) since 2004. She has been working with both men and women struggling with substance abuse problems.

The workshop included advice on how to recognize the signs of addiction and provided step-by-step tips on how to recover. It also discussed the impacts that addictions can have in certain aspects of life, such as physical health, memory, mood and personality, relationships, employment, finances, etc,.

“An addiction can cause many problems in a person’s life,” says Klett. “It’s the feeling of having no power, that you can’t stop once you start,” she says. “Having these issues can affect a person’s ability to perform simple tasks, maintain healthy relationships, and overall lower your physical and mental health.”

Klett uses the Bio/Psycho/Social model to explain the risk factors of addiction.

“People are more likely to develop a substance use disorder if they have a family member that has used in the past,” she says. “People who experience depression or anxiety tend to use drugs or alcohol or food to help self-medicate, and are more likely to use if they are surrounded by people who are also using.”

Klett also discussed how the cycle of addiction affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

“When I was in university, I had to move to a new town far away from my family, and I was very shy and didn’t know anyone,” she says. “Once I started to think about having to meet new people, I would turn to alcohol and suddenly feel better, so I would keep doing it to avoid feeling stressed,”

Recovering from an addiction is difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and patience, but it is always possible.

“It’s not going to be easy,” says Klett. “When we make goals, we always seem to have this mindset that it’ll be perfect,” she says. “What we have to realize is that it’s normal to experience a relapse, and we should not be so hard on ourselves for it.”

For more information on Klett and her individual therapy sessions, visit her website or follow her Twitter.

Written by
Tamara Von Estorff

Tamara von Estorff is a web-based writer studying Journalism at Sheridan College. She enjoys social media, blogging, and books.

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