How Counselors Can Help Families with an Addicted Member

It can be shocking to learn that one’s child or sibling or parent is an addict, and confusion may set in as to what to do. What needs to be done is to go for family counseling. Here are 4 things counselors can help families of addicts with:

1. Family Engagement

Counselors play an important role in making members of the family involved and engaged in supporting the addicted member.

Particularly for those uninterested in taking part in family therapy, counselors can make them see reason in it and change their minds. They serve as the mediator between the addicted member, their parents, and other members of the family.

2. Relational Reframing

One problem families with an addicted member face is a lack of perspective and understanding. With relational reframing, counselors can shift the minds of the addict and their family away from the individualistic approach.

Relational reframing helps to reframe thoughts and actions towards the benefit of the relationship, rather than personal benefit.

3. Family Behavior Change

The role of counselors becomes even more important in the aspect of behavioral change from both the addict and the family. Counselors help the addict drop the negative habit and correct the judgemental behaviors of family members.

They also help in the development of positive behaviors such as communication skills, proper expression of feelings, and balance creation on rules and restrictions.

4. Family Restructuring

Here, counselors are useful in helping to restructure the beliefs, cultures, premises, and standards of the family. There may be existent internalized toxic traits deemed normal in the family; counselors help to correct them. Thus, family life is restructured towards a healthy relationship with one another.

How the family responds or reacts to an addicted member goes a long way in aiding or hindering their recovery. Counselors help every member of the family understand their role in helping the addict recover, while still maintaining a healthy relationship with them.

5 Signs that an Individual is Addicted to the Internet

The internet has become an integral part of our lives, providing us with essential information, communication, and entertainment.

Internet addiction or Compulsive Internet Use is the pressing need to always use the internet at the expense of one’s health, work, and relationships. With these signs, you can identify an individual addicted to the internet:

  • The most obvious of signs is spending too much time – all the time – on the internet. Even on days when nothing interesting is on the net, an addicted person would keep going from site to site, in search of satisfaction.
  • One thing common to addictions of all kinds is the difficulty to stop and internet addiction is not left out. A person addicted to the internet would find it hard to leave it to do other things.

If the person manages to go off for some time, all thoughts would be on the internet and going back to it. This may make the addict restless, irritable, moody, and uncomfortable.

  • You can also identify an internet addict through body signs. These signs include back pain, headache, insomnia, fatigue, dry eyes, and vision problems due to prolonged internet use.
  • Another sign is if such a person has risked or lost something significant because of the internet. It could be a relationship, career, job opportunity, family, or friends. Addicts voluntarily, or involuntarily choose the internet over any other thing.
  • Finally, when a person always turns to the internet as a means of escapism, it is a sign of addiction. This means such a person resorts to internet use always to deal with pain, grief, or any negative feeling. The internet has become a safe space and the person finds solace in surfing through it.

We all indeed use the internet excessively from time to time, spending hours on it daily. However, a much deeper problem than excessive use is being addicted to the internet.

Five signs that an individual is addicted

Addiction is becoming a rampant problem in the world today. People can get addicted to virtually anything, from drugs to alcohol to the internet and all forms of habits. Here are 5 signs that show that an individual is addicted.

  • Obsessing

When a person is obsessed with something and thinks about it all the time, it can be a result of addiction. They find it hard to concentrate on other things and spend all of their time and money on satisfying their cravings.

  • Lack of Impulse Control

Impulse control is the ability to stop doing something at will. When a person is unable to conveniently do so, addiction is kicking in. It becomes even more difficult as withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, convulsions, and irritability set in.

  • Manipulative

An addicted person tends to get manipulative to satisfy the urges. Lying, stealing, and fraudulent practices are common manipulative behaviors addicts exhibit.

  • Clouded Judgement and Reasoning

A general trait of addictions is the incapacity to think clearly. The minds of addicts are clouded by the need to satisfy their addiction that they do anything to that end. They sometimes take decisions or actions that are detrimental to their health, life, or work.

  • Relationship Strain

Addiction rids its victims of the ability to relate well with people around them. Due to the trauma attached, they feel a sense of guilt and shame and find it hard to open up. This makes them isolate themselves from others and jeopardizes their socialization with friends and family.

Being addicted is a big problem because it holds the addict in an uncontrollable desire for it while every other part of their life suffers. It is important to be able to notice when you or those around you are addicted to something. Only then can you seek the much-needed help for yourself or such a person.

5 Signs that an Individual is Addicted to Drugs

Drug addiction is a state of physical and psychological dependence on a drug irrespective of its negative effects. How do you know a person is addicted to drugs? Watch out for these 5 common signs and you can tell if an individual is addicted.

  • Intense Cravings

When a person begins to feel a strong uncontrollable desire to use a drug, it is a sign of addiction. The intense urge often leaves the individual uncomfortable and unable to concentrate on any other thing asides from the need to take that drug.

  • Withdrawal Symptoms

When an addicted person tries to stop or reduce the usage of the drug, withdrawal symptoms set in. These symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, anxiety, hallucinations, and other physical and mental conditions. This sign shows the extent to which the body has become physiologically dependent on the drug.

  • Tolerance

Addicts use drugs to achieve a certain feeling or state. When the amount of drug normally used to reach such a state is no longer sufficient, the body has become tolerant to that drug. This means they have to take in more of the drug to achieve the desired effect.

  • Risky and Illogical Behavior

The need to always take drugs can drive addicts to any lengths to satisfy it. They may begin to steal, commit crimes, keep bad company, neglect responsibilities and make bad decisions. They can also go bankrupt, spending all they have on drugs.

  • Isolation

Finally, when a person suddenly withdraws from people and social life, it can be a sign of addiction. Due to perceived stigma or fear of what friends and family will say, addicts tend to isolate themselves from everyone.

Addiction signs vary from person to person, depending on the drug being abused. However, these 5 signs are most likely to be found in most drug addicts you can find.


Drug addiction is one of the top forms of addiction in the world alongside with alcohol addiction. The process of drug addiction often starts out as an abuse before it develops into a full-blown addiction.

Knowing how drug addiction works will give you an insight on how to deal with it. However, you need to select the appropriate rehab that will be great for your needs.

The hardest nut that drug addicts have to crack is the issue of acceptance. Most people who are addicted to drugs do not want to accept the fact that they are addicted. This is one of the reasons why some of them would turn down any form of treatment.

Also, some of them do not know how their lives would look like when they are sober, so they will prefer to remain this way.

However, once drug addicts can be convinced to accept that they are addicted, it is a huge step to being sober. This is the stage that the counselor at an addiction treatment center handles.

The counselor needs you to acknowledge the fact that you are addicted so that he or she would be able to structure a treatment plan based on his evaluation of your case.

After the counseling phase, drug addicts would be taken for detoxification. This is the phase where dangerous toxins are flushed out of their systems.

These toxins have built up overtime due to the intake of drugs over a long period of time. After the detoxification phase, the patient is 40% out of addiction.

The next phase is the rehab phase where full treatment takes place. The patient would either need to be admitted fully within the facility or attend therapy and treatment schedules based on a fixed timetable.

When all is said and done, the last phase is the aftercare program. During this phase, the individual is certified to be free from addiction.

However, there is a need for follow up to prevent the individual from relapsing. An aftercare program can go on for as long as possible depending how chronic the addiction condition was.


We all want to live healthy lives but not all of us have taken conscious efforts to make sure we live healthily. You might feel it is quite strenuous to go to the hospital for check-ups when you have a busy schedule.

However, you need to know that it is only a healthy body that can attend to busy schedules. With this, to ensure we do not breakdown, it is crucial to pay a visit to the hospital on a regular basis.

The reason why there is healthcare is for us to monitor our health. The facilities needed for this are in place, and all we need do is present ourselves to be checked.

One of the importance of regular health check is cost of healthcare. In some countries where they pay for health checks, you might feel it is expensive.

However, there are long-term benefits. Imagine not going for health checks and you discover eventually that you have an underlying medical illness. At this point, you might have to pay more. This is something you could have easily prevented.

So, when you go to the doctor to have your health checked, there is a tendency that any medical illness can be detected. All you need do is have it treated at this stage. There are some people who have been able to prevent themselves from having full-blown cancer because they detected it at the early stage.

Another importance is the blood test you have to take at the hospital. With this, there is a really minute chance that you will have any blood disease. This helps to prevent any possible disease.

Most of have really tight lifestyles and we barely have time to rest. However, it is important to always make out time to check how we are faring health-wise. This would help you know if you have exceeded the normal stress levels.

Going for regular health checks helps to make sure that you are fit and healthy. Coupled with a balanced diet and exercise, you are good to go.

Case Management And Hospital Care

Case Management

Our Case Management program identifies those patients who require more intensive oversight and coordination of their care. Working with a team of physicians, our case managers serve patients with chronic ailments including, but not limited to:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic pulmonary disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Dementia

Hospitalist Care

If you are hospitalized, Northridge Medical Group offers the expert care of our Hospitalist physicians. These are well respected community physicians who are highly trained in the evaluation and treatment of patients whose illnesses are severe enough to require a hospital stay. Since they care for all of our hospitalized patients, the level of experience they have is extensive. They manage your care and coordinate the care of the other physicians who may be involved in making you well, including the appropriate specialist consultants. Because of their expertise, the Hospitalists are able to get better clinical outcomes, better patient satisfaction, and better physician satisfaction, and they help to keep your hospital stay a shorter one. They are patient advocates who make sure that tests are done and the results are found out as soon as possible so that the care you need can be started in as short a time as possible. The Hospitalists work with you and your family members to ensure you understand what is going on during your hospitalization and what to expect after discharge.

The Hospitalist who cares for you is usually not the same physician who acts as your primary care provider for your out-patient problems in the office. However,  every effort is made to keep your regular doctor informed of your progress, and the Hospitalist closely works with your physician to make your transition of care following discharge as smooth as possible.

The Hospitalists assess your needs at the time of your discharge and coordinates your post-discharge care with the help of nurse case managers. They communicate your needs to your primary care physician and specialists so that you remain well once discharged. It has been recognized that the use of Hospitalist physicians results in a higher quality of in-patient care and this system has been widely adopted by physicians and accepted by patients. Health plans have similarly not only encouraged the use of Hospitalists but also recognize this method of hospital care as a best practice.

Emergency Care

Syringe and red cross

Knowing how to distinguish a true medical emergency from an urgent situation saves lives as well as unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. A true emergency is a life- or limb-threatening situation and you should call 911 immediately or go to the nearest emergency room for immediate medical attention. Examples of true emergencies include (but are not limited to):

  • Deep cuts, significant active bleeding or severe burns
  • Seizures
  • Sudden blackouts or being unable to move or speak
  • Severe chest pain
  • Breathing problems or choking
  • Injuries from an animal attack
  • Poisoning
  • A broken bone or sudden, severe pain and swelling in a joint

If time permits or if you’re unsure if the injury or illness is a true emergency, call your primary care physician for advice prior to obtaining emergency care; however, you should always seek immediate medical attention in any situation you believe to be life- or limb-threatening.

Your Primary Care Physician

Choosing the right physician to care for you and your family members is one of the most essential health care decisions you can make. Each of your covered family members may select a personal primary care physician based on services that are most appropriate for individual needs. In order to receive the optimal coordination and continuity of care, it’s important to establish an honest, open relationship with your respective physician. If you have not already selected your primary care physician, call the Member Services Department listed on your health plan ID card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IPA?
A An IPA, or Independent Practice Association, is a group of doctors that provide medical services to individuals enrolled in health plans.

Q What is the difference between an IPA and my health plan?
A A health plan provides its members with medical, hospital and preventive care services through a contracted network of physicians, hospitals and other health care providers. An IPA works with your health plan to provide or direct all actual medical care and health services.

Q How do I choose a physician to care for my family and myself?
A You can select a physician by calling the member services representative listed on the membership card provided to you by your health plan. It is important to establish a relationship with a primary care physician early on in order to receive the optimal coordination and continuity of care.

Question markQ How do I know if my doctor is part of Northridge Medical Group?
A You can refer to the list of physicians included in this Web site. Or you can call our Customer Service Department at 1-888-252-6426.

Q How do I make an appointment with my Northridge Medical Group physician?
A It’s as easy as calling your physician’s office directly for an appointment.

Q How do I get a referral to see a specialist?
A Northridge Medical Group has a comprehensive network of contracted specialists and ancillary service providers. Once you have selected your primary care physician, he or she will work with Northridge Medical Group to direct you to the appropriate contracted specialists or services when medically necessary. In fact, our turnaround time for referrals exceeds industry standards; in many cases, your specialist referrals are approved the same day.

Q What do I do in case of an emergency?
A In the event you or a family member suffers any life- or limb-threatening illness or injury, you should always call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Examples include (but are not limited to) significant active bleeding, seizures, blackouts, chest pain or problems breathing. (See Emergency Care in the Health Care Services section of this Web site.)

Q As a member of Northridge Medical Group, what hospital do I use?
A Northridge Medical Group is affiliated with Northridge Hospital Medical Center and other fine medical centers throughout the area.

Q Where can I call if I have questions regarding my health plan?
A Call the Member Service Department listed on your health plan ID card.


Q What if I want to change my primary care physician?
A You may make changes by calling the Member Service Department listed on your health plan ID card.

Q Who do I call if I have questions regarding claims or referrals?
A Whenever you have questions or concerns regarding claims or referrals as well as eligibility, authorization or general patient issues, you can call our Customer Service Department at 1-866-604-3334. We guarantee a 48-hour follow up or answer to your inquiries.