Common Questions 

What is Addiction, Alcohol and Substance Abuse?

Abuse?- Addiction is a state best described as an obsessive process where humans engage in an uncontrollable behavior in the pursuit of a rewarding stimulus, despite adverse consequences. In the case of alcohol and substance abuse, the use of alcohol or a
mood-altering substance like marijuana or cocaine are the rewarding stimulus.

Why do people abuse alcohol or substances?

Alcohol and substance occurs when people make a habitual effort to change an uncomfortable mood and control the human cycle of happiness. Alcohol and substance abuse are psychological processes that are often initiated by the “seek pleasure and avoid pain” principle.

What happens to people that abuse alcohol or substances?

Ironically, it is through habitual alcohol and substance use, pleasure-seeking behaviors and pain avoidance that a human will suffer the most, more than the original problems or uncomfortable feelings could ever have caused.

Is there a cure for alcohol or substance abuse?

It is our perspective that when an individual recognizes that their use of alcohol or substances to control happiness, avoid pain and discomfort, becomes the source of their unhappiness the individual is ready to change. At this point the individual will seek a “cure” or secondary behavior to control the unhappiness or pain caused by alcohol or substance abuse. This secondary and adaptive behavior is often coined “recovery” and it begins with abstinence from alcohol or mood-altering substance use. It is our opinion that a recovery-based lifestyle is the cure for alcohol and substance abuse and everyone with an alcohol or substance abuse problem can be cured.

How can an alcohol or substance abuser be “cured”?

Due to the uniqueness and individuality of each alcohol and substance abuser there is no one set way to “recover”. An individual can just quit and discontinue use and avoid the stimuli that is the root cause of their pain and unhappiness. Some term this going “cold Turkey.” While it is possible to quit or go “cold turkey” history and science indicate that the use of supports when trying to quit using alcohol or mood-altering substances is far more effective
than just “quitting” or going “cold turkey.”

What type of supports or help are there for alcohol or substance abusers?

There are many types of help or supports for an individual with an alcohol or substance abuse problem. For instance, an individual that is homeless, is estranged from their family and cannot manage their use or thoughts about using alcohol or mood-altering substances might benefit from the supportive environment of an inpatient program. An inpatient program is a place where an individual would reside in a supportive therapeutic environment until the individual stabilizes their use and builds enough self-efficacy to manage cravings or thoughts that led to past use on their own. Another example would be an outpatient program. An outpatient program provides a supportive environment for alcohol or substance users who have supports in place. An individual should have a home, should have stabilized their use or the self-efficacy to manage their use and cravings in a therapeutic environment where they get to receive support and go home after receiving support. Another type of help is MAT or medication assisted
treatment. MAT is the safe and effective use of medication management as a method of stabilizing alcohol or substance use.

What is Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT?
Is as an evidence-based practice in the treatment of benzodiazepine, opioid, cocaine, cannabis and alcohol abuse for individuals who seek relief from common symptoms of abuse, mild withdrawal, or persistent withdrawal. MAT is most often provided in an outpatient or inpatient substance abuse or psychiatric setting concurrent with individual and or group therapy and has shown to be one of the more effective treatments for alcohol or substance use disorders.

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