Key Principles of Addiction

Key principles about addictive disorders can help us understand the complexities of recovery. Listen in to the opiate recovery support group as they share their thoughts on these principles.

Discussion Guide:

What are your thoughts about these key principles?

  1. Don't expect a sick brain to make a healthy decision.
  2. Always a part of the problem, it is difficult for family members of people addictive disorders to become a part of the solution.
  3. In the treatment of patients with addictive disorders, any therapeutic compromise is destined to fail.
  4. Never, never underestimate the additive power of alcohol and opioids.
  5. Don't expect a broken brain to fix itself by itself.
  6. People who are addicted to alcohol and drugs alienate all friends who are not themselves chemically dependent.
  7. Combining other personality disorders with addictive disorders is like combining jet fuel with a match.
  8. It takes one physician to withdraw a person from alcohol and drugs. It takes a "therapeutic village" to prevent his or her return to alcohol and drugs.
  9. Although a person with addictive disorders cannot recover without total abstinence, total abstinence does not constitute recovery.
  10. When a person with addictive disorders begins to recover, the dynamics of all important relationship also change.
  11. The discontinuation of alcohol and drugs lifts the veil of denial covering over the tragic consequences of addiction-related misbehavior.
  12. Even though the reasons for depression are understandable, treat the person for depression. (Antidepressants may be required at any phase of the treatment of patients with addictive disorders.)
  13. Alcohol and drugs of abuse will poison a person's assets.

Adapted from Stuart C. Yudofsky, Fatal Flaws: Navigating Destructive Relationships with People with Disorders of Personality and Character