Human Ecology – Recovery – Mind, Body, Spirit

We believe in Human Ecology, the understanding and care of human beings as whole persons in light of their relationship to God, themselves, their families, and the society in which they live.

–The Philosophy of Human Ecology

The philosophy of Human Ecology covers all three aspects of our recovery: body, mind, and spirit.

We know that taking care of our bodies is essential to recovery. That means eating properly, exercising as much as we can, and not abusing ourselves physically.

Taking care of our minds is also important. We are trying to make choices that enhance our recovery, not diminish it. This includes the things we read, watch, and listen to. We seek out education and positive affirmation. We go to meetings. We gather with others who share our vision.

Spirituality is the common thread through all of this, for without it we are lost. Our spiritual search is our effort to improve our conscious contact with God. Through this search comes harmony of body, mind, and spirit.

Today let me remember the principles of Human Ecology. They provide a simple reminder of where I’ve been and where I am going.

Taking care of my mind, body, and spirit has been very important to my recovery from substance abuse addiction. I pray, meditate, and create a gratitude list every morning. I go to 12 step meetings almost daily. I speak with my sponsor and other friends in recovery daily. My normal practice is to exercise and eat healthy on a daily basis. I sponsor guys. I share at 12 step meetings. I have a normal sleeping schedule and I live a balanced life. All of these things contribute to my recovery and contribute to me being happy, joyous, and free. All of these things help me to be spiritually fit. Thanks to my recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous, my life is amazing today!

Substance Abuse Screening Instruments

There are numerous screening instruments available to help counselors assess and diagnosis substance use disorders. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using standardized instruments to assess and diagnose clients?

There are several advantages and disadvantages of using standardized instruments to assess and diagnose clients. Because information gathered from a standardized test can be compared to the normal population, a counselor can use the information as part of the clinical decision making process. The information can also be useful when working with a client that is in denial or is in resistance to their substance abuse addiction. For example, a client could debate that drinking a liter of vodka per day is normal because his parents both drink a liter of vodka per day. However, compared to the normal population, drinking a liter of vodka per day is a strong indication of alcoholism. Data gathered from a standardized test has the benefit of objectivity. A client cannot accuse a counselor of being biased or opinionated just because he wants the client to go to treatment because that is how he gets paid. Substance abuse addicts often minimize their drug use. Therefore, there are standardized tests which indirectly screen individuals for substance abuse. (Capuzzi, 2012). Standardized tests are good for many reasons as mentioned. However, a standardized test cannot be customized to better suit the needs clients. Standardized test can also become outdated.  


Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. (2012). Foundations of Addictions Counseling. Upper Saddle River, NJ; Pearson Education.

Etiology of Addiction – Personality Theory Model

The Personality Theory Model is a psychological model. It attributes the causes of alcoholism and substance abuse addiction to a person’s personality traits. Generally speaking, alcoholics are selfish, self-seeking, dependent, immature, impulsive, emotional, controlling, and intolerant. The assumption is that alcoholics have certain personality traits and that the resolution of alcoholism requires a restructuring of the personality. (Choosing a Model of Addiction, 2004). The Personality Theory Model overlaps the Twelve Step approach to recovery in many ways. According to the Twelve Step approach of Alcoholics Anonymous, drinking is only a symptom of the disease of alcoholism. Through working the Twelve Steps, an alcoholic changes their personality from the inside. This includes believing that one’s life has become unmanageable, surrendering to a Higher Power, doing one’s inventory, asking God to remove defects of character, making amends and clearing away the wreckage of the past, conscious contact with God, and giving back. In the rooms of AA, if a person does not go through the steps and change their personality, they are said to be a “dry drunk”. I have personally witnessed the personality change that occurs when a person works a solid Twelve Step Program. Working the Twelve Steps causes a person to be outward focused, present, more mature and last but not least, the obsession to drink and do drugs is removed. Working the Twelve Steps leads to the pathway of becoming happy, joyous, and free.


Chapter TWO: CHOOSING A MODEL OF ADDICTION. (2004). Addictions Counseling (pp. 20-28). Crossroad Publishing Company.