Psychoactive substances are chemicals that affect the central nervous system and alter a person’s thinking, moods, and behaviour.
The DSM IV- categorises psychoactive substances into ten classes:
  1. Alcohol
  2. Amphetamines
  3. Cannabis
  4. Cocaine
  5. Opioid’s
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. Inhalants
  8. Nicotine
  9. Sedatives
  10. Hypnotics

CBT for Alcohol/Drug Abuse

CBT therapeutic treatment for Alcohol/Drug dependence begins at the assessment session where the therapist looks at the initial sequence of events which led to the initial use of alcohol/drugs.
Understanding your reliance on alcohol/drugs is also crucial. For example reliance on alcohol or drugs can occur for a wide range of reasons; for pleasure and/or relief from emotional pain. We will then work to develop specific cognitive strategies to help reduce the intensity and demands of clients urges and create a stronger system of internal controls.
The goals of treatment with CBT will vary according to the client’s individual needs, problems and previous history. Whereas AA views total abstinence as this treatment objective, CBT has found that clients prefer setting their own goals, and that way may be more willing to achieve them.
I will help you to step back and assess how unhelpful thinking patterns impact on emotional distress. By understanding the relationship between trigger situations which provide the stimulus for their addictive behaviours (work, stress, depression/loss, social anxiety, anger/resentment, low self-esteem etc.) and the thoughts, beliefs and urges and emotions which precede Alcohol/Drug abuse, you can work with self-defeating patterns and provide alternative ways of interpreting your life situations.

Moderation Management

I’m a big supporter of the idea that improvements in quality of life, in addition to or instead of measures of abstinence, need to be incorporated broadly into addiction treatment.
There are four times as many problem drinkers as alcoholics in this country. Yet there are very few programmes that specifically address the needs of beginning stage problem drinkers, while there are literally hundreds of programmes for the smaller population who are seriously alcohol dependent.
Many of those problem drinkers today actively and purposefully avoid traditional treatment approaches because they know that most will label them as “alcoholic”, and prescribe lifetime abstinence as the only acceptable change in drinking.
Clients tend to self-select the behaviour change options which will work best for them. Moderation management is often a good place to begin to address a drinking problem. If moderation proves to be an ineffective solution, the individual is then encouraged to progress to an abstinence solution.

Is moderation a reasonable option for you?

This is your decision. To be successful at moderation or abstinence requires effort and a commitment to change. You should take into account the severity of your drinking problem, your personal preference, and any medical, psychological, or other conditions that would be made worse by drinking, even in moderation.