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Is Addiction Really a



Definition of Addiction:

Addiction is a disease that is characterized by compulsive use, loss of control over use, and continued use in spite of adverse consequences. The disease is chronic and progressive and potentially fatal if not treated. The disease is also incurable, but it may be brought into a state of remission through abstinence and a rigorous program of supported recovery.

Some phenomenon’s of Addiction:

1. Loss of control

2. Craving

3. Persistent drug use despite negative consequences

4. Tolerance

5. Blackouts


   Addiction is a Brain Disease


Some Aspects of Addiction:



The addict continues to insistence that they do not have a problem. It has been said that alcoholics and addicts are incapable of seeing the consequences of their addiction. This is why a professionally led Intervention is the best tool for initiating change and for getting an addict to accept treatment and recovery. Another form of denial is recognizing that there is a problem but nothing can be done about it. Again, professionally led Intervention can successfully confront this excuse.


Physical Dependence:

Alcohol and some drugs form physical dependence in the addict and the addict will need to be detoxed safely. This is different from Psychological dependence which is also part of Addiction and can be in conjunction with Physical Dependence or seen by itself without Physical Dependence. Together or separately does not define Addiction, it only defines detox and steps taken to withdraw the Addict safely from the substance(s). Drugs that require medically assited Detox:

• Alcohol & Sedative/Hypnotics

• Opiates/Opioids

• Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Valium, Ativan Klonopin etc..

• Sleeping Pills – Restoril, Ambien, Lunesta


Codependency and Enabling: (See Addiction Care Management)

Characteristics of Codependency
Following are some characteristics of codependency that affect the objectivity of the codependent family member(s). Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems/relieving your pain. My mental attention is focused on protecting you. I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel. My fear of your anger determines what I say or do. I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship. My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.
The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours. Enabling
When someone has codependent feelings about the active addict, they become fearful around them and in confronting them. Often times parents may feel it is better to let a child who is acting out with drugs or alcohol stay in the house because at least they know where they are. This is an example of enabling. Enabling can be the biggest deterrent to an addict seeking or

getting help. Enabling allows the addict to keep using despite the consequences by shielding them from those consequences. The enabler will say that they are only trying to help when in fact what they are doing is masking their own feelings of fear or guilt. The enabler needs to confront their own feelings around the addict so that they can successfully take part in a professional intervention to help their loved one, friend or coworker. 1st Step Interventions has the experience in helping individuals work thru codependency and enabling.


1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management

chemical addiction

Is Addiction Really a


YES !!

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management have been started to aide in the Battle against Addiction, 1st Step Addictions is one of if not the best Intervention Service in the United States and certainly Northern California. With a 95% success rate it is extremely successful at helping getting the Addict to accept the loving help of Treatment.

Addiction Care Management was started because Treatment has a horrible success rate of only 10% remaining sober in the first year after Treatment. Addiction Care Management was started as a Service to help the Patient and to Educate and help the Family stop being Co Dependent and Enabling the Addict


Choice VS Disease

  • Free Will Exists.
  • Responsibility.
  • Can Stop.
  • Punishment and Coercion do work.
  • Behaviors
  • No Free Will
  • No Responsibility
  • Can’t Stop
  • Punishment and Coercion DON”T work
  • Symptoms
  • But they cannot cause addiction
  • Nor can addiction cause them


The addicted brain is different than the normal brain

(it’s not just alcohol or drugs anymore . . .

The Drug becomes Survival at the level of the unconscious . .

What makes the addicted brain fundamentally different from the normal brain?

You are not going to like this

Stress: The Casual agent in Addiction

We all face stress, Yes….

But we don’t all:

  • Face the dame severity of stress
  • Face the same pattern of stress
  • Have the functioning coping mechanisms
  • Come to the table with the same brain

Stress changes the physiology of the midbrain and as a result the person who is predetermined to be an Addict has their dopamine system affected in a negative way. Dopamine mediates the experience of pleasure. The Dopamine System changes in conditions of severe, chronic stress.

  • The patient is no longer able to derive normal pleasure from those things that have been pleasurable in the past.
  • This is because there are less Dopamine Receptors and less Dopamine.

Anhedonia: Pleasure “deafness”

  • The patient is no longer able to derive normal pleasure from those things that have been pleasurable in the past
  • When the Patient does alcohol or other drugs that spike Dopamine – the brain tells the Addict “ Don’t know what that was – but we need more of it. (This is all mood-altering drugs and alcohol do – spike dopamine levels.


It’s not that the addict doesn’t have “values”

  • It’s that in the midst of survival panic

the addict cannot draw upon those values

to guide their behavior . . .

  • The midbrain now reigns . . .
  • And conscious thought becomes constricted.

The Dopamine surge causes the drug to be tagged as the new, #1 coping mechanism for all incoming stressors

The Midbrain is a very area of the brain where the pleasure centers are and were we store the need for survival of the Human Race

Now that the midbrain has found what secures survival …… how does it motivate the individual to repeat that behavior?


Stress = Craving

Why the “Choice” argument fails

  • It fails to take into account CRAVING
  • It measures addiction only by the addict’s external behavior
  • It ignores the suffering of the patient
  • You don’t actually have to have drug use for the defective physiology of addiction to be active
  • The addict cannot choose to not crave


It’s not that the addict doesn’t have “values” . . . It’s that in the midst of survival panic the addict cannot draw upon those values to guide their behavior . . .The midbrain now reigns . . . And conscious thought becomes




1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management’s™ “Recovery Without Walls™ Mission Statement is simple “A Lasting Focus on Recovery”

In the Near Future 1st Step Interventions will be changing it's name to Addiction Recovery Management and Intervention,Inc. We feel this better reflects the direction our business model is taking. We believe Treatment is not always necessary and our Program provides Families with more choices and better outcomes. Our Services are located in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Programs have become the most successful and leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Outpatient Program is a leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management™ offers tailored programs, accountability, relationship building, life skills, and honest coaching to help patients explore their addiction issues and develop strategies to address their patterns. We also regularly check up on our clients to ensure accountability to their Continuing Care Plan. We take all the worry and responsibility out of the Family's or Spouses hands. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ operate on behalf of families, removing them from having to play the role of addiction police'. All of this is done in the alcoholic/addict's real world setting. Our “Recovery Without Walls”™ allows your loved one to live their life and experience recovery in the real world while having Professional guidance and help.

    What are The Advantages of using 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management’s™ Model "Recovery Without Walls?

1Bryan Bowen is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in California (CAS II) and is a Nationally Certified Interventionsist through the University of Pensylvannia (CIP) Bryan has been Certified for over 12 years.

2.. 1st Step Interventions enjoys a 95% success rate of getting the alcoholic addict to enter treatment as a result of an intervention. Over 400 Intervention have been professionally completed. Experienced Addiction Care Management - Bryan Bowen has 15 years of combined direct patient care and 1st Step Interventions has an outstanding record working with more than 1,000 addicts and their families.

3. Continuity of care - An Addictions Care Specialist works with you from the beginning of the intervention all the way through the 1st year of sobriety. You will continue to be Educated through our proprietary Workbook, Weekly Conference Calls and continued Family work for up to 1 year if neccessary. Even processing issues that come up when your Patient leaves Treatment and comes home. Your Addiction Care Specialist is available during The Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program’s Office hour's Period to any one including the Patient. Your Addiction Care Specialist will manage your loved one's progress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as needed, provide accountability for adherence to their Continuing Care Plan, help problem solve issues created in the their addiction and recovery, provide Life Skills where necessary, intervene in any Crisis, makes suggestions where appropriate and provide a sense of relief for you. Your loved one will have someone who has been with them, and you, since the beginning of the intervention. You will have a much higher chance of successful long-term recovery. This is how you really treat a Chronic Illness!

4. Addiction Care Management™ - We have worked in all areas of the treatment Industry and understand everything your loved is going to go through. We have also developed long-standing relationships with treatment providers, having personally visited nearly 250 Centers and have outstanding trusting friendships with treatment executives, therapists and counselors. We maintain professional relationships by attending relevant conferences and making visits to centers to make sure they are consistently meeting the needs of the alcoholic/addict. We make honest referrals to programs with ethics who will take care of your loved one and give them the clinical care needed for recovery from their addiction. Your Addiction Care Specialist will be closely involved withe the treatment facility helping build the most successful Continuing Care Plan for your love one.

5. Family Communication - Addiction Care Management™ provides families with weekly conference calls with The Addiction Care Specialist.

6. While the Patient is in treatment, follow up conference calls for the client and family for questions and support

7. Weekly consultations with the Patient Therapist/Case Manager/Counselor if Patient is in treatment during the time of Addiction Care  Management™. This includes but is not limited to, following Patient during treatment,discussions about  recommendations for continuing residential treatment, outpatient treatment, working with the clinical team on the recommendations for Continuing Care Planning and appropriate therapist/psychologist referrals post Treatment (once the Patient has completed the primary treatment program).

8. Signing off on Continuing Care Plan. Providing resources as needed.

9. Addiction Care Management will put together the pieces of the Patient's “Lasting Focus On Recovery" and the boundaries for each piece. This is the patients post Treatment plan to deal with any issues such as financial or legal that may bring up issues.

10. Addiction Care Management will manage all of the recovery activities outlined for the patient in the Continuing  Care Plan.

11. Stress identification and reduction Plan” for Patient's stress and in each case a plan will be put into place with appropriate education and training were necessary. This may include Life Skills. Many of these do not show themselves until after the Patient has left Treatment.

12. Addiction Care Management™ will manage Patient's recovery in stages that build on each other and individual responsibility and provide an exit stage. Providing support for Client and Family and providing a concrete plan for Client and Families growth and recovery.

13. Managing random alcohol and drug screening of Patient after treatment.

14. Managing and helping provide accountability on Patient’s adherence to Continuing Care plan.

15. Providing a plan if Patient has a relapse and managing that plan if event happens during the time of Addiction Care Management™. Family is not involved and encouraged to stay out. Addiction Care Specialist will also have Weekly Face-to-Face meeting with Patient.

With us you get an Intervention Company and an Addiction Care Management™Recovery Without Walls Model, that has been where your loved one is. We know the joy of Recovery and the despair of Addiction, and have developed a Caring way of speaking to active Addicts and their Families.

San Francisco Drug Intervention, Alcohol Intervention, Addiction Help and Addiction Services Counseling