Psychology Resources
John J. Wagner, Licensed Clinical Psychologist # 6292

Addiction

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) approximately 10% of Americans currently use illicit drugs and 52% of Americans drink alcohol. Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use cost our country an estimated 700 Billion dollars in annual cost related to health care, lost productivity, and crime. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that approximately 44,000 Americans die each year from drug overdose. And According to the Center of Disease Control an estimated 88,000 Americans have died each year from excessive alcohol use (between the years of 2006-2010).


According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV-TR (the manual psychologist, psychiatrist, and other therapist use to diagnosis mental health conditions), an individual can be diagnosed with Substance Dependence if they have a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress - as manifested by three (or more) of the following seven symptoms:

  1. Tolerance, as evidenced by either a need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
  2. Withdrawal, as manifested by withdrawal symptoms or the individual must take the substance to avoid withdrawal.
  3. The substance is taken more and for longer than intended.
  4. There is persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control the substance use.
  5. A great deal of time or effort is spent acquiring the substance.
  6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of the substance.
  7. The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to be caused or exacerbated by the substance.


According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV-TR, an individual can be diagnosed with Substance Abuse if they have a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress - as manifested by one (or more) of the following:

  1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  2. Recurrent substance abuse in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems.
  4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance.


People can and do recover from their addictions every day. To date, the most scientifically supported treatments for drug and alcohol addiction are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Behavior therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a well-established, highly effective, and lasting treatment. CBT focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns.

Behavior Therapy uses techniques to reduce or stop the undesired target behaviors that are associated with addiction. Behavior therapy can help an individual stop destructive habits and begin new healthy behaviors.

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