All Things Substance Podcast

Addiction Information Episodes

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills

Episode #106 Substance use is our problem. By “our” I mean mental health therapists. The subfield of substance use isn't big enough to be its own thing. It's just a further specialty. Like other specialties such as eating disorders, sex therapy, OCD treatment, trauma...

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Charting the Course is Here!

Charting the Course is Here!

Episode 105 This is the program you need in order to feel competent and confident in addressing  your clients’ use of alcohol and drugs. You don’t need to go back to school or refer out. The majority of clients who are using substances problematically don’t meet the...

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You Don’t Need Personal Experience to Work With Substance Use

You Don’t Need Personal Experience to Work With Substance Use

Episode 103 One of the things that gets in the way of a therapist deciding to step into substance use work is this belief that if they aren’t in recovery, then they aren’t going to be able to work with this population. As therapists, the imposter syndrome can be all...

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How to Repackage Your DBT Skills to Work with Substance Use

How to Repackage Your DBT Skills to Work with Substance Use

Episode 92 Therapists love tools. We love learning new ways to help our clients live more skillfully and have more ability to manage their symptoms. There is no shortage of tools either. We can choose from a multitude of modalities from every kind of theoretical...

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Treating Chronic Pain

Treating Chronic Pain

Episode 88 Treating chronic pain is difficult on a good day. After the over-prescribing of opiates in the 90’s and early 2000’s, it's become more challenging. Opiates used to be the treatment of choice, but the medical community has more research and information that...

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What is Normal Marijuana Use?

What is Normal Marijuana Use?

Episode 86 So far we don’t have a determination about what is “normal” marijuana use.  We have very little direction on marijuana use at all. Even medical marijuana doesn’t have a dosing or recommended amount. It doesn’t have anything saying don’t use more than this...

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Marijuana Issues and Therapy

Marijuana Issues and Therapy

Episode 85 Marijuana gets a lot of press coverage in the United States. The federal government still has it as an illegal substance, schedule 1 (which means it's on par with heroin). States are starting to legalize recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has been...

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What is normal drinking?

What is normal drinking?

Episode 84 What is  normal drinking? This is a very common question. I was asked a couple of different versions of this question from colleagues. In today’s episode I’ll talk about what government entities say is “moderate” and talk about a few scenarios that I’ve...

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How to Take a Substance Use History

How to Take a Substance Use History

Episode 83 Taking a drug use history can sometimes feel like guessing. What questions should you ask? What do the answers mean? Did you ask the right things? In today’s episode we will be going over the questions I feel are necessary in getting a good history on...

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Helping An Addicted Loved One

Helping An Addicted Loved One

Episode 82 ​Helping an addicted loved one can be really difficult. What should a person do? What shouldn’t they do? I had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Kate Watson of the podcast Only Trying to Help about this very thing. This is our second podcast together and for...

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Good Therapy-Protecting the Therapy Hour

Good Therapy-Protecting the Therapy Hour

Episode 81 Good therapy depends on both us and our clients. We need to show up ready to work, but our clients need to show up ready also. Substance use can get in the way. There are two ways that substance use interferes with our work. One is when a client’s brain and...

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Shame and Addiction

Shame and Addiction

Episode 77 Shame and addiction cannot be separated. The deeper someone goes into their addiction, the more things happen that they want to keep hidden. So many things are “normal” when a person is stuck in active addiction. Things that “normal” people who shake their...

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Fear and Addiction

Fear and Addiction

Episode 74 Fear and addiction always show up together. Being in active addiction fills a person with fear of so many things. That’s going to show up in our therapy sessions.  Our whole job is to hold a safe space for people. We know that, but they don’t always know...

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Why Therapists Might Not Assess for Substance Use

Why Therapists Might Not Assess for Substance Use

Episode 70 What keeps therapists from asking about substance use? ​Fear of practicing out of scope? Not enough information about drugs? Not sure what to ask?  There are a lot of reasons why a therapist might be hesitant to assess substance use. Knowing ourselves is...

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10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

Episode 69 Why should mental health therapists assess substance use? Is that really in our scope? My answer is a resounding, Yes. In this episode I go through ten reasons why assessing for substance use is vital to our work and to our client’s well-being.  I often...

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Marijuana Basics for Therapists

Marijuana Basics for Therapists

Episode 20 What is marijuana and how is it used? Why is THC potency important? What does this have to do with therapy? Marijuana is here to stay and it looks like we’re heading towards legalization. We need to know the facts about marijuana. It comes up in therapy...

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The Harm Reduction Model and Abstinence

The Harm Reduction Model and Abstinence

Episode 12 What does abstinence mean in the context of addiction? What is the difference between harm reduction model and abstinence? Is the harm reduction model and abstinence mutually exclusive? In the addiction treatment world, abstinence and harm reduction can...

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Effects of Substance Abuse-Progression

Effects of Substance Abuse-Progression

Episode 11 What are effects of substance abuse? What does progression mean when talking about addiction? How does progression relate to the DSM criteria? What addiction criteria shows up most often? Progression is the key to addiction. It’s not about choice or...

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Addiction: Stages of Addiction and Use

Addiction: Stages of Addiction and Use

Episode 10 What stages of addiction and use are there? How do I know which level of use my client is in? Do people bounce around in use stages or move in a linear fashion? Stages of use are helpful in assessing your client’s use and  determining when you should be...

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Addiction: Protective Factors

Addiction: Protective Factors

Episode 9 What reduces the risk of addiction? Will changing environmental factors help or is it just up to genetics? Is prevention only for kids? This episode looks at the protective factors for addiction. Genetics isn’t the only factor and much can be done to help...

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Risk Factors, Genetics and Addiction

Risk Factors, Genetics and Addiction

Episode 8 What role is played by genetics in addiction? What makes one person become addicted  to drugs and alcohol and another person doesn’t? Is environment more important than genetics? There are many factors that influence the development of an addiction. There...

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Brain Science of Addiction

Brain Science of Addiction

Episode 7 What role does the brain play in addiction?  Is addiction a matter of willpower and choice or is it about biology? Addiction is a hard thing for many people to talk about. Either their own addiction or their loved one’s addiction. This is because addiction...

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Addiction Defined

Addiction Defined

Episode 6 What is the definition of addiction Is addiction a choice or are addicted people victims of circumstance? Episode 6 is the first part of a series about addiction. This episode looks at the definition of addiction and the components of addiction according to...

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