ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE THERAPY
Substance abuse can be a way of avoiding the painful aspects of life, whether fears about oneself, past wounds, or present difficulties. Whether your addiction is to substances, food, sex or relationships, exploring and facing the underlying issues through therapy can set you free from the compulsive need to engage in addictive behaviors that hurt you and those you love. Our team is trained in motivational interviewing, an intervention that has been empirically proven to decrease substance abuse and addictive behaviors.
Substance Abuse is diagnosed when a person displays one or more of the following in a 12-month period:
- Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home (e.g. absences from work or poor work performance due to substance use)
- Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g. driving)
- Recurrent substance-related legal problems
- Continued substance use despite having persistently social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g. fights with partner)
Substance Dependence is diagnosed when a person displays three or more of the following in a 12-month period:
- Tolerance as defined by either a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
- Withdrawal as manifested by either the characteristic withdrawal symptoms for the substance or when substances are taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
- There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
- A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
- Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
- The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
Please keep in mind that only a trained therapist is qualified to diagnose these disorders, but if you are experiencing symptoms you should contact a therapist as soon as possible.