Addiction, Stress, and Recovery Capital

Rand Teed

April 4th, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Glen 205 – TELUS Convention Centre Calgary

Addiction, Stress, and Recovery Capital

About this session

Substance use, whether it is acute pretreatment use or post-treatment relapse, is generally about the individual’s capacity to identify and manage stress. Most problematic substance use develops as a maladaptive stress response mechanism. Often, the stress a person feels is a combination of current issues coupled with unresolved trauma from previous events; this may even be intergenerational. This presentation will help the participants understand the biological stress response system, and how substance use hijacks the reward system and how that substance use quickly replaces the natural cognitive ability to recognize and manage the stress in an adaptive way. Secondly, the presentation will illustrate how using the Recovery Capital Index can be a valuable tool in the ongoing treatment process and how the application of this tool can help the recovering person create a focused recovery path.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the relationship between stress and substance use.
  2. Understand how applying Recovery Capital Scale can reduce stress and risk of relapse.
  3. Learning how mindfulness can reduce stress response.


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Gardner EL. Addiction and brain reward and antireward pathways. Adv Psychosom Med. 2011;30:22-60. doi: 10.1159/000324065. Epub 2011 Apr 19. PMID: 21508625; PMCID: PMC4549070.

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Alberta model