Articles

Alcohol and Other Drug Education


Alcohol and other drug abuse is a situation in which the individual’s thoughts and behaviors are substantially influenced by the abusive use of alcohol or other drugs.

The degree of use is always a fundamental focus because it usually determines the treatment plan. 

Alcoholics, in particular, and many drug abusers are manipulative, dishonest, in denial, and rationalize their behavior.  All of these “defenses” need to be confronted as part of the therapy as appropriate.



The goal is to provide for the immediate safety of the abuser in the least intrusive manner, ranging from immediate involuntary hospitalization to weekly therapy with a contract to come to sessions 24-hour sober too assist the client in overcoming the substance abuse, if this is what the client wants to do. 

It is a reasonable treatment option to work with a substance abuser while moving him/her toward abstinence.

Interventions would include:
  1. hospitalization, voluntary or involuntary, if warranted,
  2. intensive education about the causes and detriments of substance abuse generally, as well as in the context of family systems,
  3. work in non-blaming, non-shaming framework;
  4. intervene in the cycle of shame-blame and denial,
  5. build self esteem,
  6. confront denial which is the hallmark of the disease of substance abuse;
  7. make appropriate referrals to a detox program, in-house treatment, out-patient treatment, 12-Step Programs, such as AA, NA, CA or other appropriate adjunctive resources.