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About Willy Drinkwater

From my early days working on addiction treatment units I was always fascinated by the patients that never slept, those that would sleep twelve hours and still feel exhausted, and those that would be carrying on conversations with people that were not there.

So after working in a free-standing addiction treatment unit for three years I moved on to working inpatient addiction/psych units for close to fifteen years.

When a person has an addiction issue and one or more other mental health issues the person is said to have a ‘Dual-Diagnosis’ or, the person is said to have ‘Substance Abuse with Co-Occurring Disorders.’ 

People with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders should have both treated simultaneously.  Otherwise one will more often than not destabilize the other.

I view my role as an Addiction & Co-Occuring Disorder Specialist to help the client sort out what is going on and formulate a plan of action with them - not for them.  This is done on a case by case basis.  Although some may say ‘addiction is addiction,’ each person has his or her own story that needs to be specifically addressed (especially if there are co-occurring disorders present).


‘Dual Diagnosis is the Expectation, Not the Exception.’

When a person is in early recovery after detoxification there is going to be depression and anxiety.  It is a matter of degree. These may be the result of ‘using’ (substance induced mood disorder) or the co-occurring disorder may have been present in the first place.  “Do I drink because I am depressed or depressed because I drink?”  The answer is “Yes.”  Both need to be addressed. How they are addressed will be determined by a person’s individual ‘story.’

As an educator I live by the belief, ‘that those of us who have the privilege to teach have the responsibility to be lifelong students.’  For this reason I am constantly reading the latest research papers and information in my field.  Additionally, I attend various workshops throughout the course of the year to stay current.

The tabs above will lead you to information on various services offered for individuals, corporations, & educational institutions.

Thanks for the visit,

Willy Drinkwater

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