How Do I Know if I have an Addiction?

As a clinician, I am often asked how addiction is determined. From a clinical standpoint, addiction can be diagnosed using a set of criteria. One of the most common and widely used diagnoses tools in the United States is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM is developed through the American Psychological Association (APA).…

Co-Occurring Disorders and Substance Use Disorders– How do they relate?

We hear a lot about Co-occurring disorders but what is it? A Co-occurring disorder is the presence of both mental health and a substance-use disorder. For example, an opioid substance use disorder coupled with depression is a common co-occurring disorder. Clients with co-occurring disorders (COD) typically have one or more disorders relating to the abuse of…

Finding True Happiness Inside of Substance Abuse Recovery

“Happiness is an inside job”- Abraham Hicks Substance abuse often starts as self-medication against internal struggles. At some point, we may extend this concept into other parts of our lives—just as we may have relied on the comfort provided by drugs, we may also rely on the comfort provided by people or things. Depending on…

Why the allure to anger is an addiction?

America seems to be addicted to Anger. A public epidemic, promoted by media coverage of road rage, mass shootings, and war. Anger affects our personal lives in many ways, from workplace frustrations to family arguments. Some symptoms of anger addiction are- self-stimulation, compulsion, obsession, denial, withdrawal and craving syndrome, and unpredictable behavior. Like alcoholism or substance abuse, anger…

Substance Use Disorder Is Rapidly Growing for Senior Citizens

Substance use disorder among the elderly population is a rapidly growing health problem in the United States. Addiction among people 65 and over is underestimated and under-diagnosed. According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, substance use among senior citizens are classified either as the “hardy survivor,” or the “late onset” group. The…