Six Steps to Effectively Approach an Employee with a Substance Abuse Problem

Are you concerned about an employee’s substance abuse problem, but aren’t sure how to approach him or her about it? This is a situation that many HR professionals face. According to a survey conducted by the Hazelden Foundation, “54% of HR professionals believe that getting employees to acknowledge or talk about substance abuse is their toughest challenge.”

The truth is that this is a delicate situation and it can either be a successful intervention or a terrible one if not conducted properly. Our research indicates that the earlier a workplace intervenes when an employee is struggling with an addiction, the sooner their recovery begins. Bellwood’s research also indicates that an employee has a better chance at recovery when an employer is involved.

According to Bellwood’s Outcomes Studies, employees experience an 82% success rate when they are referred by an employer. Read more

What to Do When Your Loved One Isn’t Ready For Addiction Treatment

What can you do when you have a family member who won’t stop using? Do you feel as if you’ve tried several approaches but nothing seems to change? You are not alone. Many Canadian families struggle with substance abuse more often than you think. Approximately 1.3 million Canadians still need help with substance abuse. [1]

Unfortunately, addiction is a disease that affects not only the person with the addiction but all those around them. Family members often take on roles and responsibilities that were never theirs to begin with, but feel they have no choice but to act in those roles. Whether you are a mother, father, spouse or sibling, there is a way that you can provide support for your family member, and it starts with your own healing process.

Lana Robson is an Addiction Counsellor who leads the Family Program at Bellwood Health Services and she believes family members can be catalysts for someone struggling with substance abuse. Read more

Medicating Anxiety Symptoms With Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Written By: Dr. Mel Vincent, BASc, MSc, MD, FRCP(C ), ASAM Certified Director Psychiatric Services at Edgewood Treatment Centre

There is clearly a very important relationship between anxiety symptoms, disorders and addiction. Research has repeatedly demonstrated an important relationship between anxiety disorders and substance use disorders in both directions.

Patients who suffer from an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks with or without agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have a higher rate of developing addictions to alcohol and other drugs. Conversely, patients who are identified with substance use disorders have an elevated risk of having an underlying anxiety disorder or significant anxiety symptoms, associated with their addiction.

The Trap The implications of this relationship are important. There are clearly some patients who identify using alcohol or other substances as a means of coping with their anxiety disorders. Read more

Sex Addiction in the Gay Community – Recovery is All About Connection

(Originally published in Fall Issue of Moods Magazine, 2015, www.moodsmag.com)

Written By: Alex St. John and Laura Politi

The precise definition of sexual addiction has been debated extensively in research, clinical practice and even in the media.  It is often difficult to label or diagnose sex addiction; there can be disagreement about whether or not it is in fact an addiction, and the boundaries of what is considered “normal” or socially acceptable sexual behaviour can be vague.  What is clear, however, is that problematic sexual behaviours cause considerable distress to the individual, and despite negative consequences, the person is unable to stop. This can lead to a great deal of shame and a great deal of secrecy.  As sex addiction receives increased attention, we are learning that not all groups of individuals are equally affected by this problem.  For example, research has demonstrated that compared to heterosexuals, the rate of sexual compulsivity or sex addiction is higher among gay and bisexual men.  Read more

A Natural Approach to Support Clients in Recovery for PTSD

According to a recent scientific report by the Defence Research and Development Canada Toronto Research Centre, approximately 14% of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who had been deployed to Afghanistan had (or continue to have?) a mental health disorder linked to an Afghan mission.[1] Yoga, mindfulness, and EMDR are all therapy practices, approaches, or techniques used to help treat and support people in recovery from PTSD and substance abuse.  But what about using horses?

The ability to live in the present and just shut off all the voices in one’s head are some of the challenges clients in Bellwood Health Services’ Addiction and PTSD/OSI treatment program face on a daily basis. FEEL, Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning, is an experience that Bellwood has introduced to our clients and is having a very positive effect on how our clients feel and proceed on their path towards recovery. Read more

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