Sunday, December 7, 2014

Web-based interventions Proven Effective in Treating Substance Abuse and Reducing Relapse Rates

A new study in the American Journal Of Psychiatry (Volume 171, Issue 6, June 2014) shows that incorporating a web-based educational intervention in the treatment of drug abuse can not only help people stop using drugs, but can also keep them in treatment longer.

TES is a web-based version of the Community Reinforcement Approach plus Contingency Management, a packaged approach with demonstrated efficacy.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the NIH, funded this study.

TES consists of 62 interactive modules that teach patients how to achieve and maintain abstinence from drug use and includes prize-based motivational incentives to encourage adherence to treatment.  Patients given TES were less likely to drop out of treatment than those in the control group.  Also, the web-based intervention helped patients stay abstinent from drug use, even those who were not abstinent at the beginning of the study.  With such findings, web-based interventions like TES are promising additions to drug abuse treatment.

This approach, which combines skills-oriented counseling and contingency management in an Internet-delivered behavioral intervention, produced high rates of abstinence from drugs and heavy drinking among patients with a good prognosis (those who entered the study with positive urine drug or breath alcohol screen) but doubled the likelihood of abstinence among patients with an otherwise poor prognosis.

Computer-delivered interventions have the potential to improve access to quality addiction treatment care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Education System (TES), an Internet-delivered behavioral intervention that includes motivational incentives, as a clinician-extender in the treatment of substance use disorders.

Adult men and women (N=507) entering 10 outpatient addiction treatment programs were randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks of either treatment as usual (N=252) or treatment as usual plus TES, with the intervention substituting for about 2 hours of standard care per week (N=255).

TES consists of 62 computerized interactive modules covering skills for achieving and maintaining abstinence, plus prize-based motivational incentives contingent on abstinence and treatment adherence. Treatment as usual consisted of individual and group counseling at the participating programs. The primary outcome measures were abstinence from drugs and heavy drinking (measured by twice-weekly urine drug screens and self-report) and time to dropout from treatment.

Compared with patients in the treatment-as-usual group, those in the TES group had a lower dropout rate and a greater abstinence rate. This effect was more pronounced among patients who had a positive urine drug or breath alcohol screen at study entry (N=228).

Internet-delivered interventions such as TES have the potential to expand access and improve addiction treatment outcomes. Additional research is needed to assess effectiveness in non-specialty clinical settings and to differentiate the effects of the community reinforcement approach and contingency management components of TES.

Tom Wilson Counseling Online Alcohol Classes currently uses similar evidenced based practices inclusing cognitive behavioral techniques, motivational enhancement therapy and stages of change theory.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving - Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over

Presented by Tom Wilson Counseling Center

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

The Consequences Aren’t Worth the Risk

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,885 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010. Thirty-one percent (10,228) of those fatalities involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
  • Data also shows that 70 percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occurred when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was .15 grams per deciliter or higher.
  • The holiday and summer seasons are particularly dangerous. That’s why Tom Wilson Counseling Center is joining highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the nation to remind people throughout the year that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and that drinking and driving don’t mix.
  • On average, 25 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes per day during December 2010. Tom Wilson Counseling Center wants to remind people that drinking and driving can quickly turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy.
  • When you drink and drive, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. Be responsible, and don’t let your celebrations end in tragedy.
  • Getting caught for impaired driving can also result in arrest, loss of driving privileges, higher insurance rates, lost time at work, court costs, fines, and attorney’s fees, and many other unwanted consequences.
You Can Prevent a Tragedy
  • Plan ahead; be sure to designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Even one too many drinks increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle. Remember that, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
  • If you are impaired, find another way home.  Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or have a designated driver that is not drinking at all with you.
  • Be responsible.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
  • Visit for online DUI, online Alcohol, online Drug, online Minor in Possession, online Drug Diversion and online Relapse Prevention programs.
For more information on Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, please visit this fact sheet's sponsor at

Friday, June 27, 2014

Drug and Alcohol Abstinence Enhancement and Relapse Prevention Workshop

Relapse Prevention for Organ Transplant Patients (DAAERP)

This course has been approved by Transplant Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville for meeting requirements of the Shands at UF Organ Transplant Services for drug and alcohol abstinence enhancement and pre-listing relapse prevention workshop.

The below class is a relapse prevention class intended for educational purposes only and not intended as therapy or counseling. The goal of this class is to help patients with medical problems who have been or are currently chemically or alcohol dependent maintain their abstinence.

Drug and Alcohol Abstinence Enhancement and Relapse Prevention Workshop: $150.00

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top Ten Tips for Parents for Preventing Drug Abuse

Top Ten Tips for Parents for Preventing Drug Abuse in their Kids

1. Why is there so much focus on keeping kids alcohol and drug free?
Recent scientific research has found that the longer an individual postpones the onset (first use) of alcohol, tobacco or other drug use, the less likely the individual is to develop an addiction or other lifelong problems, including depression.

2. The Power of Parents: Believe it or not, parents are the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to drugs. Recent research has found that 2 out of 3 kids ages 13-17 say that losing their parents’ respect is one of the main reasons they don’t drink alcohol, smoke marijuana or use other drugs.
So then, as a parent, what can I do use my influence to encourage or promote prevention efforts with my children? Here are Ten Tips for Parents:

1) Don’t Be Afraid to be the “Bad” Parent: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our kids keeps us from doing what is right. When it comes to alcohol and drugs, taking a tough stand can help our children to say no….“my mom or my dad would kill me if I drank or used.” Our decisions and our rules allow our child to use us as “the reason” for not using alcohol or drugs.

2) Connect With Your Child’s Friends: Pay attention to who your child is hanging out with, who’s coming to the house and get to know them. Encourage your child’s friends to come to your home, invite them for dinner and make them feel welcomed. Encourage your child to invite friends over to the house.

3) Make Connections With Other Parents Too: As you get to know your kids friends, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to his/her parents. It’s a great way to build mutual support and share your rules about alcohol and drugs. And, it will make it easier for you to call if your son/daughter is going to a party at their house to make sure that there will be responsible parental supervision.

4) Promote Healthy Activities: Help your kids, and their friends, learn how to have fun, and fight off the dreaded “I’m bored.” Physical games, activities and exercise are extremely important because of the positive physical and mental benefits. Encourage kids to become engaged in other school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. The more your children are active, the less time they have to get caught up in the pressure from peers to drink alcohol and use drugs.

5) Establish Clear Family Rules About Alcohol and Drugs: Setting specific, clear rules is the foundation for parental efforts in prevention, some ideas:
  • Kids under 21 will not drink alcohol
  • Kids will not ride in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs
  • Older brothers and sisters will not encourage younger kids to drink or use drugs
  • Kids under 21 will not host parties at our home without parental supervision
  • Kids will not stay at a kid’s party where alcohol or drugs are present.
  • Consistent enforcement of the rules, with consequences, if needed is essential. Without consequences the rules have no value and will not work.
6) Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on your own personal experiences or common sense to carry you through. Your ability to provide family leadership in prevention requires you to be better educated. Share what you are learning with your spouse and your kids.

7) Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Bottom line…. from a kid’s perspective, what you do is more important than what you say! Research studies show that parents who drink alcohol or use drugs are more likely to have kids who drink or use. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation; if you use medication, use only as directed, and do not use illegal drugs. If you host a party, always serve alternative non-alcoholic beverages and do not let anyone drink and drive.

8) Keep Track of Your Child’s Activities: Asking questions, keeping track, checking in are all important. Research has found that young people who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use alcohol or drugs. Make the time to know what is happening in your child’s life – especially in families where both parents work outside of the home, life is busy but you must find time for your children – know what they are up to!

9) Keep Track of Alcohol and Prescription Drugs: For kids, the most common source of alcohol and prescription drugs is parents. Make sure that your home is not a source of alcohol or prescription drugs for your kids or their friends.

10) Get Help!: If at any point you suspect that your child is having a problem with alcohol and/or drugs (What to Look For), get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone.

Tom Wilson is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist who develops online self-help substance abuse prevention classes to reduce the risk for substance abuse in at-risk persons.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Petty Theft Shoplifting Thinking Errors Classes Online for Court Requirements

Online Petty Theft Shoplifting Classes that meet Court Requirements

Register for Online Petty Theft Shoplifting Classes
These online petty theft and shoplifting awareness education classes are for people who are required to complete a theft, shoplifting, stealing, larceny, or petty theft education course to satisfy probation or a court order or recommendation. Approved by courts, judges, attorneys, agencies, probation, parole, colleges, universities, and employers. Get court approval before enrolling for legal requirements.

All classes developed and monitored by Tom Wilson, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who is also an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist. Tom Wilson specializes in adapting evidence-based prevention programs for delivery through the web and other electronic media. Instructor credentials can be viewed here:

Contact us at or call Toll Free 1.877.368.9909 during office hours; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm MDT/MST with questions. If you call before or after our regular office hours, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Relapse Prevention: From Use to Abuse

Relapse Prevention - What is the difference between Use and Abuse?

Tom Wilson Counseling Center


Use: Drugs may be used in a socially accepted or medically sanctioned manner to modify or control mood or state of mind. Examples include having a drink with a friend or taking an anti-anxiety agent for an acute anxiety state in accordance with a physician's prescription.

Substance Misuse: An isolated episode of alcohol or other drug misuse that caused a problem in health, legal, job, social, emotional or other areas of your life. Examples include drinking too much at a New Year's Eve party but have not experienced any other problems in the last year.

Substance Abuse: Defined as having more than one problem from use in the last 12 months, i.e. legal, financial, marital, work, health, or psychological problems as a result of use.

Addiction: Characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance despite adverse social, psychological and/or physical consequences. A wide range of substances, both legal and illegal, can be addictive. Addiction is often (but not always) accompanied by physical dependence, a withdrawal syndrome and tolerance. Physical dependence is defined as a physiologic state of adaptation to a substance, the absence of which produces symptoms and signs of withdrawal.

Withdrawal: Withdrawal syndrome consists of a predictable group of signs and symptoms resulting from abrupt removal of, or a rapid decrease in the regular dosage of, a psychoactive substance.

Tolerance: A state in which a drug produces a diminishing biologic or behavioral response; in other words, higher doses are needed to produce the same effect that the user experienced initially. Factors contributing to the development of addiction include the reinforcing properties and availability of the drug, family and peer influences, sociocultural environment, personality and existing psychiatric disorders. Genetic heritage appears to influence susceptibility to alcohol addiction, and possibly addiction to tobacco and other drugs as well .

Detoxification: The process by which an individual who is physically dependent on a substance is withdrawn from it. The primary objective of detoxification is to relieve withdrawal symptoms while the patient adjusts to a drug-free state. It is not, in itself, a treatment for addiction, because it does not affect the long-term course of addiction.

Relapse is a return to drug use after a significant period of abstinence. Relapses may occur over a period of years, because continued recovery requires a series of profound behavioral, social, psychological and physical changes.

Online Relapse Prevention Classes for legal requirements, education requirements, employment requirements or a healthy lifestyle:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Relapse Prevention Disease Model of Addiction

Relapse Prevention

Copyright Tom Wilson Counseling Center Online Classes

8 Hour Online Relapse Prevention Class

16 hour Online Relapse Prevention Class

The Disease Model of Addiction

It is important to know what beliefs a person has about abuse or addiction in order to understand how a person will approach a change or recovery plan. The "disease model of addiction" was made popular by AA and the American Medical Association and is still a popular model used by many people. This older model has been criticized and new models of addiction and recovery have been proposed.

Today, the main beliefs of disease-model thinking are:
  • Most addicts don't know they have a problem and must be forced to recognize they are addicts.
  • Addicts cannot control themselves when they drink or take drugs.
  • The only solution to drug addiction and/or alcoholism is treatment.
  • Addiction is an all-or-nothing disease: A person cannot be a temporary drug addict with a mild drinking or drug problem.
  • The most important step in overcoming an addiction is to acknowledge that you are powerless and can't control it.
  • Physiology, not psychology, determines whether one drinker will become addicted to alcohol and another will not.
  • The fact that alcoholism runs in families means that it is a genetic disease.
  • People who are drug addicted can never outgrow addiction and are always in danger of relapsing.