If you think you or someone you love may be experiencing an addiction or are seeking treatment in Calgary for an alcohol use disorder or drug use disorder, we can help. The following page provides some general information about alcohol and drug use disorders to help you get started, but please feel free to contact us for further information at the phone number above if you have questions or would like to book an appointment.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, most often referred to as the DSM-V or DSM-5, outlines the criteria that is currently used to diagnose a substance use disorder. There are eleven criteria. You may not meet all of them, but the more of them that are descriptive of your using or drinking patterns, the more severe is the problem you are experiencing with the use of that substance.
The eleven criteria are listed below in bold. I've
included additional questions that you might ask yourself or reflect on
to determine the extent to which you meet each criteria. These are, by
no means, an exhaustive list of questions but they can give you an idea
of what each criteria is looking at.
If you meet two or three of these criteria, that would indicate a mild use disorder; four or five indicate a moderate use disorder and six or more indicate a severe use disorder.
The preceding list of criteria
and related questions is not intended to
provide you with a diagnosis, only to offer education and increased
awareness. A diagnosis is arrived at through a comprehensive assessment
with an addictions professional who can explore your personal, medical,
family and work histories, as well as your current mental health
status, relationship quality, and substance use patterns. All of the
information gleaned from such an assessment is used together to
determine a diagnosis.
Our hope in providing this information, however, is that it helps you gain a better understanding of what an addiction looks like and how it manifests in daily life, so that you can make more informed decisions regarding your well-being.
If you are answering yes to some or most of these types of questions, there is a strong likelihood that you are experiencing a problem with the use of your substance of choice. We strongly recommend that you consult with a health professional, psychologist or other therapist who is trained in the field of addictions assessment and treatment, and who can provide further guidance and recommendations as to what steps you can take to address these issues in a meaningful way.
by Harry Haroutunian
An excellent resource on understanding treatment of substance addiction. I especially like the chapter on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this chapter, the author describes each Step in detail, including the principles and potential pitfalls of each step, as well as his own simplified version of the meaning of each step. Dr. Haroutunian rewords Step One, for example, "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable" to "There is a power that wants to kill me." Step Two, "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity," becomes "There is a Power that wants me to live." Includes a chapter on the high functioning addict, what to expect in recovery, a discussion on abstinence vs. harm reduction, a discussion of the distinction between spirituality and religiosity, a description of AA meetings, and more. A very good introduction to the world of addiction recovery.
by Katherine Ketcham and William F. Asbury
Much of what this book is about could be described by the phrase found on the back cover: "Alcoholism is a disease. It's time we started treating it like one." In the first half of this book, the authors describe the science behind the neurobiology of alcohol addiction, how alcohol affects the brain and the body, along with a comprehensive description of the early, middle and late phases of alcoholism. The second half of the book includes chapters on inpatient treatment, relapse prevention, counselling for co-morbid issues, spirituality and nutrition. It's a bit dated now, but its still very informative and one I would recommend. The author, Katherine Ketchum is also author of Under the Influence, considered a classic in the field.
The following links lead to online resources that may help further:
Official site of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc..
What its Like to Attend Your First Meeting
Here is an excellent online article that addresses one of the most common psychological barriers to attending AA: anxiety about attending your first meeting. This article, produced by professionals at Futures Palm Beach, can help you feel better prepared with an understanding of what to expect at your first and subsequent meeting(s) and helps to dispel some of the common myths about attending AA.
Evolution Health Care for Everyone
An online support group providing help to those who are seeking to quit or cut down on their drinking. One helpful resource on this site is an online questionnaire you can use to evaluate your drinking. This is the same one used by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (see below). I prefer the final report format on this site, however, as it provides a little more information. An excellent resource with which to evaluate your drinking.
Alcohol Help Center 2.0 Links and Resources
Check Your Drinking Assessment Online Questionnaire
American Society of Addiction Medicine
An excellent educational resource, information rich, written in a strong academic style, outlining what addiction is, including the characteristics, neurobiology and genetic components of addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine and its Canadian counterpart the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine both offer comprehensive online information (see the "Research and Treatment" menu of the navigation bar at asam.org) to both addiction professionals and the public.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Canada's leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital.
CAMH Articles and Resources
Information about Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Evaluate Your Drinking
Information about Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines
Dealing with Drinking: How to Quit or Cut Down
This is another excellent site filled with articles, resources, and information on addiction. It is also a good site to find out about treatment centers available near you.
The Recovery Village provides comprehensive alcohol and drug rehab programs. Their website, here, is a wealth of information on alcohol and drug addiction and treatment, inpatient and outpatient programs, co-occurring disorders, and so much more.
If you have any questions or would like to contact us by email, you can complete a brief confidential contact form here. Once you submit the contact form, a Cobb & Associates intake staff member will respond as soon as possible.
The Calgary Couples Counselling Centre (a subsidiary of Cobb & Associates Inc.) is located in southeast Calgary (near Leons and Trail Appliances on 11th Street SE). Please click here for our full address and a map to our location. We are currently accepting new clients and warmly welcome self-referrals and referrals from physicians and other professionals.
We appreciate your interest in our services and hope this information has been helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.