Addiction & Harm Reduction Therapy
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”
-- Johann Hari
Do I have a problem with drugs or alcohol?
If you are reading this, I imagine you have - at least - started to question your relationship with drugs or alcohol.
Maybe you’ve noticed something shift. What used to be a “work hard, play hard” lifestyle that felt simple is now feeling out of balance. It’s becoming harder to focus, and the lines between work and fun have blurred.
You might have gotten feedback from close friends or your partner that they are concerned. Or worse, a close relationship has been damaged by behavior that occurred while you were intoxicated.
There may have been boundaries you swore you would never cross, which are now becoming harder to maintain.
Perhaps you have been making efforts to change your relationship with drugs or alcohol for a while and it hasn’t been working.
Maybe this does not feel like a problem now, but part of you worries it could be down the road.
Or, you might have known this has been a problem for a while and are now ready to get some help.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is broadly defined as the continuous use of addictive substances despite recurrent negative consequences to one’s life.
This may also include increased cravings or tolerance, difficulty managing responsibilities, inability to control the frequency of use, or the development of withdrawal symptoms.
Drugs and alcohol use almost always begins as an outlet for fun. “Use” becomes “abuse” when the function of these substances shifts and becomes a coping mechanism for other life issues. What started as a situational additive to social activities becomes habitual. Perhaps it has become something you prefer to do alone.
Drugs and alcohol become a form of self-medication that takes the place of addressing larger problems or feelings.
What is the right relationship for you?
Finding a relationship with drugs and alcohol that feels “right” is very personal. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you are questioning your relationship with substances in any way, therapy can be a space to explore these questions.
Therapy is not about pushing you to make a change.
My intention is to support you in taking an honest look at the way drugs and alcohol fit into your life. What are the pros? What are the cons? What feels clear and what is still confusing?
Finding clarity in these questions can take time. Sometimes knowing the answer is not enough to take action. In either case, I’m here to be with you in the process. I will be curious with you as we examine your relationship with substances. I will be honest with you if something doesn’t make sense to me. I will be open to all your thoughts and ideas.
I will never try to convince you to feel or think differently about this.
You get to be the judge of what is the next “right” action. You get to decide what works and what doesn’t. And you are the one who dictates when any changes should happen, if at all.
My only goal is to ask questions for clarity in hopes that they help to deepen your understanding of yourself and the role drugs or alcohol play in your life.
Abstinence or Harm Reduction?
I have experience and specialized training in both abstinence and harm reduction models of substance abuse treatment. I know both to be effective, depending on your goals.
In either case, effective therapy for chemical dependency usually includes connecting our treatment to additional resources. As we develop a clear picture of your own needs and desire for change, I will work with you to design a plan that will support your success in meeting your goals.