Majority of patients pose same questions over and over again, therefore I have now categorized those queries as FAQ’s in addiction treatment such as:

  • Is there any way to shrink my drinking?
  • But why even a drop is harmful for me?
  • But he is using alcohol in recommended amount even after treatment, why can’t I?
  • Now after a long period of abstinence I think I have now control over my drinking, why can’t you believe? And list goes on….

The answer for these questions is subjective. We‘ll answer differently because, It depends whether client is coming with addiction or with the problem of drug abuse or harmful drinking. The initial decision to take drugs is mostly voluntary. However, when addiction takes over, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. Brain-imaging studies from drug-addicted individuals show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.

NIDA defines addiction a “chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain”. However, Drug abuse is the use of illegal drugs or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for at least a year with negative consequences. Both have some common symptoms such as, failure to fulfill major role obligations, legal problems, drug use in situations that are physically hazardous; and continued use despite persistent social or interpersonal problems.

The point where addiction and drug abuse generally differ is drug tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Beside psychological, addiction is a physical disease too therefore our body becomes dependent on drug. However, drug abuse may or may not include tolerance or withdrawal symptoms.

In a survey of National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors finds almost half say it is acceptable for at least some of their patients to drink from time to time. For some patients moderate drug use was acceptable as an intermediate goal, while one-third said it was adequate as a final goal. Counselors were less accepting of occasional substance use for clients diagnosed with alcohol or drug dependence, which is considered more severe than alcohol or drug abuse. Counselors said they would not approve of limited or moderate consumption for these clients.

Keeping latest international advancement in view Willing Ways has different treatment plan for different individuals.  We deal in plans that aim total abstinence, however, plan like “shrinking drinking” helps client in reducing the amount. So it is suggested that if you have same questions and you are dealing with alcohol related problems get professional help. This will help you to understand the nature of your problem and pick the best recommended treatment model.


H. Wayne Sampson,
Michael S Collins,
Madhura Pandit