The Brain and Addiction

Many people today do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs and alcohol, or how drugs and alcohol change the brain to foster compulsive abuse. In this informative talk you will learn:

  • The Addiction Cycle

  • How drugs and alcohol change the brain in structure and function

  • Substance abuse can cause changes to the brain that erode a person’s self-control and ability to make sound decisions, while sending intense impulses to continue abusing substances

  • How these “brain changes” drive thoughts, feelings and decision making behavior

The Culture of Addiction & The Culture of Recovery

Culture generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. When individuals are not part of a certain culture it can be difficult to understand behaviors and attitudes.

Based on the work of William L. White in Pathways, from the Culture of addiction to the Culture of Recovery participants will learn:

  • The culture of addiction is an informed social network in which group norms (prescribed patterns of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and behaving) promote excessive drug use.

  • The culture of addiction is a way of life, a means of organizing one’s daily existence, and a way of viewing people and events in the outside world.

  • The culture of addiction encompasses values, artifacts, places, rituals, relationships, symbols, music and art, all of which reinforce one’s involvement in excessive drug consumption.

  • The culture of addiction can play a role in the early stages of substance use and misuse, as well as in sustaining addiction.

  • The culture of recovery as informed social network

  • The culture of recovery as a way of life

The culture of recovery encompasses values, artifacts, places, rituals, relationships, symbols, music and art, all of which reinforce one’s involvement in recovery.

Motivational Techniques

Progress Review/Motivational Techniques is a course designed for non-profit and for profit entities who are front end service providers. This training assists individuals in helping others to think differently about their behavior and ultimately to consider what might be gained through change. Motivational interviewing focuses on the present, and entails assisting others to access the motivation to change a particular behavior, that is not consistent with the individual's personal value or goal. Participants will also learn to roll with resistance, support self-efficacy, express empathy.

Bridges Out of Poverty

In this training we will explore the mental models and hidden rules of social class. Learn about the psychological costs of poverty and learn constructs for change. Bridges Out of Poverty is a book and an approach that helps employers, community organizations, social-service agencies, and individuals address poverty in a comprehensive way. People from all economic classes come together to improve job retention rates, build resources, improve outcomes, and support those who are moving out of poverty.

Life Skills

Super 6 Life Skills! is a six month course that meets once a month to work on skills that enable participants to change and improve the skills necessary to move forward from homelessness, recovery from addiction or long term unemployment. The way individuals interact and perceive the world is integral to how much success they achieve. Learning new skills also keeps individuals competitive in the constantly changing world.