Dr. Dr. Mark Ackerman provides expert evaluation and treatment for addictive behavior including alcohol, substance abuse and behavioral addiction.
Substance overuse and addiction can be defined as the persistent use of habit-forming substances despite negative consequences. Individuals who struggle with addictive or compulsive behavior may risk their health, families and careers as they pursue their substances of choice. Excessive use of alcohol and recreational drugs may lead to physical dependence for some individuals. “Pleasure” may be replaced by “need.” Sometimes a downward spiral in mood and impaired overall functioning occurs. It is well-established that habitual use with addictive substances produces a re-wiring of the brain. However, this re-wiring can be reversed over time through behavior change and sobriety from substances. Excessive use of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco/vaping (nicotine), prescription pain killers (e.g. opioids such as Hydrocodone, Oxycodone), stimulants (e.g. Cocaine) and sedatives/benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium, Klonopin) or tranquilizing (e.g. Xanax) and sedative-hypnotic (e.g. Ambien) drugs can have negative consequences. However, addictive behavior does not always involve use of substances. For example, some individuals struggle with behavioral addiction including compulsive sexual behavior, gambling, binge eating, workaholism and cyber-addiction (technology, e.g., internet pornography, gaming). Individuals who struggle with behaviors or substances can overcome those difficulties through carefully designed intervention programs including the full range of behavior change therapies. At my practice a thorough evaluation followed by a tailored treatment plan often includes the following:
-development of behavioral contracts and commitment to recovery
-recognition and awareness of triggers including environmental factors
-coaching for recovery and habit modification
-motivational interviewing which encourages change in thinking and behaving
-treatment of mood disorders that may contribute to addictive behavior
-stress awareness and stress management training since stress is a primary trigger for use
-coping skills training including cognitive reframing ;and emotion management
-relapse prevention for maintaining sobriety.
If it is determined that you require more intensive treatment, I can assist you through my contacts with a number of high quality residential or intensive outpatient treatment recovery programs that I work closely with, including treatment programs designed specifically for professional individuals in the fields of health care (e.g., medicine), law and other specialties.
Please visit my website at ClinicalForensicPsychsvs.com to learn more or call my office at 770-396-2206 or contact through e-mail at: [email protected]
Mark D. Ackerman, Ph.D. in a licensed psychologist in the states of Georgia and Florida and offers both virtual and in-office evaluation and treatment appointments.