General Addiction Therapy

IMG_4510Seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol problem is often the first step toward recovery. If you or someone you love needs help with a substance abuse problem, the addiction treatment professionals at Coastside Therapy Associates in Pacifica, CA are here to help.

Helping You Break the Cycle

Are you concerned with how much you drink?  Have you found that the medical marijuana you hoped would help your chronic pain or sleep disorder has had unexpected, negative side effects?  Are the medications prescribed to help your ADD and cognitive functioning (Ritalin, Adderall) become drugs of abuse?

Surprisingly, the fastest growing group of those reporting addiction concerns is “women of middle years” who’ve become habituated to pain killers (Vicodin, OxyContin) and tranquilizers (benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax), often post-surgically.  Unfortunately, physicians are often responsible for overprescribing these highly addictive medications, according to recent research, leaving the patient to struggle to withdraw on her own.  If chronic pain is involved, the problem may become even more entrenched:  without help in managing these drugs, patients may become “doctor shoppers”, going from one to the next to acquire multiple prescriptions. At the very least, you may find yourself increasing the prescribed dosage, either because you’ve developed a “tolerance”, or seek to alter your mood by taking more. You may be uncomfortably aware that you now have a prescription drug problem, but find it hard to identify with terms like “addiction” and “drug abuse”: there may be no one to confide in. Attempts to taper off without help can be dangerous, especially with high doses of the “Valium” type medications.  There is a danger of seizures, and, in rare cases, death due to withdrawal.

As a Qualified Medical Evaluator, (someone who performs independent medical evaluations and consultations) and disability specialist with training and experience in drug treatment programs and chronic pain cases, Dr. Polk provides confidential, non-judgmental consultation and assistance for those wishing to explore their options in managing prescription drug use.  She specializes in the assessment and treatment of chronic illness and pain, the problems involved in “poly-drug” abuse, and recognizes the absence of sensitive services available to older, “pseudo-addicted” patients. Dr. Polk has over 25 years of experience working with clients “in recovery”, whether they are Twelve Step Fellowship members, or seeking a ‘harm reduction” approach.

We live in an addictive culture, whether it’s gambling, “workaholic” tendencies, alcohol, sex addiction, debting, compulsive overeating and eating disorders, nicotine and tobacco habits, recreational and “club” drugs, or on-line addictions such as pornography and even video games. Many clients struggle with multiple/cross addictions, or “dual diagnosis” issues, such as alcoholism and major depression. They are fighting to stay afloat in their jobs, marriages, financially, and often report that they feel they’re living in a nightmare, but are so overwhelmed that they can see no way out.

But there is a solution.  Dr. Polk offers addiction treatment programs for those in the Pacifica area struggling with addictions. My job is to help you assess what’s “do-able”, take a neutral look at the more destructive consequences of addictive behaviors, and allow you to take responsibility for your own recovery together with support and understanding. If you need to take a leave from work in order to begin the recovery process, I can arrange that for you.  Whether you are confronting alcohol, recreational, prescription or “street” drugs, there is hope in breaking free from the powerful hold of addictions for once and for all. The road to recovery can seem endless, but we offer a quick response time so you can get started right away. So if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. We offer flexible appointment times Monday – Friday, so give us a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment or consultation.