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Milliken Medical Centre
5651 Steeles Ave East
Suite 17
Scarborough, ON M1V 5P6
Main: 416-291-8884
(Hours: 11AM- 5 PM)

Night: 416-289-2856
Fax: 416-291-2885

Substance Abuse Program

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“Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you – and kill you the long, slow, hard way.”   -Billie Holliday, jazz singer “Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you – and kill you the long, slow, hard way.” -Billie Holliday, jazz singer

When people talk about substance abuse, they generally refer to the use of illegal drugs. Any use of illegal drugs is considered abuse because they are addictive and can cause severe negative health effects. However, the over indulgence of legally acquired alcohol, over-the-counter medications, inhalants, solvents and cigarettes can be used to harmful excess. This program can help you reduce substance abuse, alcohol in particular.

Substance abuse is a pattern of harmful and addictive use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. People who are addicted to drugs come from many walks of life. Adolescents experimenting, neglected and abused youth, employees under pressure, people with mental health issues, and those facing social problems are a few of the many segments of society who can become addicted.

Addiction affects not just the individual but those who surround him, especially close family. It is not only harmful to their health, but also results in lost productivity, family break up, spread of diseases, crime and homelessness.

The Substance Abuse Program consists of 8 to 10 individual sessions (each session is 45 minutes to an hour long). Some of the sessions can be done by telephone. The program can be completed within 1 to 2 months.

Substance abuse treatment must be tailored to the individual based on issues such as age, culture, gender, parenting, housing, employment and past history of abuse. Treatment can include behavioral therapy such as counseling, cognitive therapy, psychotherapy or a combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings and teaches them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse. Because substance abuse is typically an addiction, a short one-time treatment may not be sufficient. To prevent relapses, a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at self-discipline will usually be required.

Research studies show that even the most severely addicted individuals can participate actively in treatment and that active participation is essential to good outcomes.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance (drug).

The following topics are covered in the eight (8) counselling sessions of the Alcohol  Treatment Program:

  1. What is alcoholism?
  2. What are some symptoms of alcoholism?
  3. What are some causes of alcoholism?
  4. Assessment usage: amount, frequency
  5. Payoffs of alcohol consumption
  6. Anger and alcohol usage: the linkages
  7. Defense mechanisms e.g. denial, minimization and alcohol abuse
  8. Harmful effects of alcohol (on the body, relationships)
  9. Coping strategies e.g. alternative ways of dealing with stress, use of a diary
  10. Interventions to promote change to a healthy lifestyle
  11. Review and conclusions
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Throwing Hot Coals Will Burn You

We act out because, ironically, we think it will bring us some relief. We equate it with happiness. Often there is some relief, for the moment. When you have an addiction and you fulfill that addiction, there is a moment in which you feel some relief. Then the nightmare gets worse. So it is with aggression. When you get to tell someone off, you might feel pretty good for a while, but somehow the sense of righteous indignation and hatred grows, and it hurts you. It’s as if you pick up hot coals with your bare hands and throw them at your enemy. If the coals happen to hit him, he will be hurt. But in the meantime, you are guaranteed to be burned.

-Pema Chodron

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