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…

Intensive Residential and Supportive Residential for Treatment Centers

Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 448, RULE §448.9023 governs Residential treatment. Residential treatment is not the same as inpatient treatment, although, many people interchange these terms. Residential treatment refers to a program treating a primary Substance Use Disorder diagnosis. Inpatient is a treatment which treats a primary mental health diagnosis. It is…

Lasting Effects of Addiction on Family Members

In the United States, there are an estimated 30-million people affected by addiction, including family members. Research suggests that Substance Use Disorder can permanently impact the nature and quality of family communications. The communication dynamics identified in families where an addiction is present are described as aggressive, protective, adaptive, and inconsistent. The aggressive communication style found in families…

What Does it Mean to Have Co-Occurring Disorders?

People with Substance Use Disorders, as well as mental health disorders, are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders. In the past, this was called dual diagnosis. Substance Use Disorder is diagnosed when substance use interferes with functioning at work, school, and in social relationships. It is also diagnosed when substance use creates or worsens a medical condition…

Many Pathways to Recovery

Historically, people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) seeking the help of a treatment center were frequently criticized when exploring their uniqueness. 12-step groups were once the only acceptable support program, and often centers would require a client to attend 12-step meetings, even if the client voiced a desire to chose an alternative fellowship. I once…

What Influences substance use disorder in our culture?

Over five decades, substance use disorders have had strong relations to the culture of our music, lifestyle, and fashion, as well as attitudes and ideologies. 1960’s —The first documented and widely-spread drug culture came in the mid-1960’s with the psychedelic ideology and hippie culture. Cannabis, LSD and other psychedelic drugs have been associated with the…