New Insights into Addiction Strategies

Stevhanie Isaacson

“Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.”
—Arnold Glasgow


“Recovering from an addiction does not have to be torture or punishing,” explains Stevhanie Isaacson, CADC. “Living a life without abusing alcohol, drugs or food can be rewarding, fulfilling, and you will laugh again.”

Isaacson has had many years of experience as an addictions counselor working at inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities helping individuals that are struggling with alcohol, drug or food addiction. Her extensive work and research with addictions inspired her to start a private practice, North Shore Addiction Treatment (NSAT), located in Northbrook.

NSAT offers private, one-on-one counseling sessions with customized treatment plans that reflect the client’s needs, lifestyle and future goals. “A one-size-fits-all approach to substance abuse seldom works with any longevity," says Isaacson. As a result, most people find themselves constantly starting over and continuing with the destructive behavior.

Isaacson works with men and women from 18 to 82. “No one is immune and addiction does not discriminate,” explains Isaacson. “It can, however, be very deceiving. In fact, some of us, at some point, may have nonchalantly claimed, ‘I’m addicted to chocolate or potato chips.’ Well, guess what? You may be.”

Food addiction and the destructive behavior that goes with it has been recently recognized by the medical community as a disorder that warrants treatment and needs to be taken more seriously. Medical research has proven that certain ingredients in foods travel straight to the pleasure center of the brain the same way cocaine does, causing a euphoric sensation. Unfortunately, like with cocaine, the euphoria diminishes, causing the brain to crave more and the vicious cycle begins. Another deceiving addiction is prescription drugs.

Prescription drug addiction has become more prevalent and deadly. An individual may feel there is validation to over-consume certain painkillers and anti-anxiety medications just because a doctor prescribed them. “Whether the drug is purchased in a pharmacy or in a dark alley, it doesn’t matter. If abused, you can die,” states Isaacson.

Isaacson explains that usually if someone thinks they have a problem, they most likely do. But for those on the fence about an addiction, there are some telling signs. These conditions may indicate an addiction to alcohol, drugs or food, especially when negative consequences start occurring but one is unable to stop the behavior and pattern because the substance pull is too strong. Isaacson adds that negative consequences can include:

•  Legal issues (i.e., driving under the influence)

•  Increases in work absenteeism due to withdrawal symptoms

•  Severe weight gain and possibly developing Type 2 diabetes because of binge eating

•  Just being sick and tired of being sick and tired

Isaacson recommends that those that may suspect an addiction take the self-assessment on her website to test for alcohol, drugs or food addiction to see if help is needed for yourself or a loved one. She also provides a 15-minute initial phone consultation for those that want to learn more.

“Together, we will work on a customized treatment plan and lead you down the road to recovery and a life full of love, fulfillment and laughter,” says Isaacson.

North Shore Addiction Treatment, 910 Skokie Blvd., Ste. 211, Northbrook. For more information, call 847-914-0092 or visit

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