Problematic Substance Use Treatment
Problematic Substance Use
The stress of daily life can be overwhelming and lead to problematic substance use. Drug and alcohol use (or other activities such as gambling) are problematic when it has harmful effects on health and quality of life.
The negative effects of unchecked substance use might include or impact:
- missing work or school
- relationships with family and friends
- physical and mental health
- extreme changes in behaviours
- legal problems
- money issues
- to maintain employment, agreeing to mandatory treatment and random drug screens
Drugs and alcohol use can produce feelings such as calm, increased energy or euphoria. These effects can lead to regular use of drugs or alcohol, which can lead to dependence, or even addiction. Over time, the harms associated with using substances may outweigh any short term positive effects.
If someone is struggling with substance use, success can have many different meanings. For some, success is abstinence. For others it is reducing use and engaging in healthier behaviours.
Regardless of the goal, long term success is best achieved by:
acknowledging substance use as an unhealthy coping tool;
gaining insight into the unmet needs that lead to problematic substance use; these might be unresolved trauma or a lack of meaning or purpose, or a clash of values and lifestyle, or social disconnection;
developing skills and strategies to address the unmet needs in a heathier manner.
Resilient Living™ Recovery is a mindfulness-based early intervention program for substance use. It is delivered through secure video conferencing for a convenient therapeutic environment.
Our empowerment-focused group program aims to help people reduce or stop problematic substance use before it becomes addiction. The program focuses on enhancing skills and tools for:
- improving emotion regulation
- re-establishing healthy social connections
- examining values in the context of lifestyle
- strengthening motivation for sustained changes
- relapse prevention to help clients stay on the path to wellness.
Clients and referral sources have the option of selecting either a harm reduction or an abstinence-focused cohort.
The program consists of:
- intake interview with one of the group facilitators
- 2 hours of weekly video group meetings for 10 weeks (20 hours total)
- 5 x 30 minute individual sessions with a group facilitator (2 1/2 hours total)
Each group cohort is between 4-12 participants. Group therapy is supplemented with on-line learning modules.
The Resilient Living™ Recovery program is delivered by counsellors, psychotherapists or social workers with supervision by a psychologist. The clinical team conducts regular case consultations to review client progress.
This innovative program uses acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention therapy.
Pain avoidance is one of the driving factors of substance use. ACT teaches individuals to accept without judgment - rather than resist and avoid - painful thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are a normal part of the human existence.
Motivational interviewing helps clients prepare for and enact behaviour change by increasing motivation and commitment to achieving their goals.
Relapse prevention therapy teaches individuals to anticipate and cope with potential relapse.
The program participants should have the following characteristics:
- Living in British Columbia (Ontario and Alberta to be added soon)
- Mild to moderate substance use challenges
- Available to participate in a program that meets for 2 hours/week for 10 weeks
- Able to originate a video session on their desktop computer, tablet or smart phone
This program is not suitable for persons with:
- Unmanaged substance use as defined by:
- consuming >35 alcoholic units weekly; or
- binge drinking resulting in “black outs” several times per month; or
- recent overdose or substance-related hospitalization
- Active suicidal ideation or hospitalization for self-harm in last 30 days
- Psychosis or personality disorder
- Ongoing involvement with legal system due to substance use issues
The costs associated with the Resilient Living™ Recovery Group are:
- $350 for intake evaluation
- $1,950 for group programming and individual sessions
- additional individual therapy sessions available
- aftercare groups available for a small monthly fee
- written reports available for an additional fee
A limited number of sliding scale seats are available in each cohort.