Bernard Nicolas, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist



One component of addiction is apparently genetic. Another larger component is the addict's inability to cope effectively with life to the point where she/he uses a substance or a behavior to create a buffer that ultimately alters the biochemisty of the brain's pleasure centers. Thus the substance or behavior is the symptom and not the problem. It is unfortunate that so much scientific knowledge is now available about the nature of addiction, yet there is still so much stigma around it, that many people have a hard time accepting that it is not a moral, character or self-control problem. Like diabetes, cancer or any other chronic illness, addiction can be very deadly, but it can also be managed so well that one can often lead a life that is even healthier than that of many others who have never had a chronic illness. It takes more than individual therapy to manage an addiction, but it can be a good place to figure out if one is addicted and learn what to do about it. Assessing addiction, managing treatment, and facilitating family and workplace issues related to addiction constitute this therapist's strongest specialty.


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