Workability – how are your drugs working for you?

Workability – how are your drugs working for you?

Buoyancy’s approach to our client’s substance dependence is ‘Nothing Wrong’.

Nothing Wrong means that whatever is happening in your life, whatever you are doing; there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it; it’s just what you are doing at this time.

The question might be: is your life working for you as it is? Does taking drugs or alcohol affect your life in a way that causes unhappiness, disease or suffering? Does it affect the lives of family, friends and loved ones in a negative way? Do they do what you thought they would do when you started taking them? Are they all bad, or all good?

It is said that we take substances for one of two reasons; either to feel good, or to feel better. Is that true for you? Does that still work for you?

Drugs are often the means by which we deal with our abuse experiences, phobias, anxiety, depression, sadness, shyness and general feelings of inadequacy; the ‘cure’ for all our problems. The first couple of beers at the barby, the cigarette when feeling stressed, the glass of wine after work, or cocaine or crystal meth as a help to make that big presentation at work; all of these are just varying forms of attempts to alter our mood, de-stress, empower, or forget.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with having a beer, glass of wine or other drug; but again the question is, does it really work for you? If yes, then how? If not, then where and why aren’t they working, and what can be done to change the situation?

If you are reading this it means that you have visited Buoyancy’s website; that could be the first step. The next could be to call and book to see a counsellor…




Counselling is ‘client centred’. This means that counselling is not about the counsellor telling the client what to do, or psychoanalysing them, but rather working alongside the person, establishing achievable recovery goals, set and agreed to by the client, and then working with the counsellor to achieve positive outcomes. This is most often an ongoing process; substance dependency is characterised by recurring relapses, whether your goal is abstinence or reduction this is normal and should not be seen as a failure, but rather as a stage in your on-going process.

The counselling process contains several elements, such as identifying treatment goals in several areas of your life: substance use, psychological and emotional wellbeing, connectedness (with family, friends, employment, and community), fulfilling legal requirements and health. Some clients choose abstinence as their goal, others; harm minimisation, or reducing their dependence on drugs. Once the areas are identified we work together to clarify what each person needs to do to achieve their personal goals.

At Buoyancy we suggest that clients try out the various modalities and activities available to the client, this can include Shiatsu, meditation, Traditional Chinese Medicine, art and singing, as well as one-to-one counselling.

When appropriate I like to introduce some basic meditation, or mindfulness, skills to the client. These skills can often assist the client in attaining a reduction of stress and anxiety, without resorting to pharmaceuticals, and a greater awareness of how their body and mind reacts to substance abuse related triggers. Many clients report a sense of calmness and an increased ability to distance themselves from negative thoughts and feelings; or at least to be able to co-exist with them, like having slightly irritating houseguests, knowing that they will leave eventually.


As human beings we are more than just what we think and feel emotionally. Our body is affected by our moods and actions, and the reverse is also true; if our body is well we can withstand and deal with negative factors and experiences in our lives, if our body is depleted then our mental and emotional resilience can also be dramatically reduced.

Complimentary therapies such as meditation, yoga, Shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, massage have all been used increasingly to treat and support AOD clients. Treatment types such as these tend to approach substance abuse from a more holistic point of view, focusing on the client as a person rather than merely a group of symptoms or neuroses, to be fixed or controlled through pharmaceutical interventions.

Ekai Korematsu, who has taught meditation at The Buoyancy Foundation of Victoria since 2000, states that the foundation of meditation is recovering a sense of the body; feeling, or experiencing, the body and breath. This is the harmonisation of body, breath and mind. Many of us have lost touch with this aspect of ourselves, and the re-discovery of these elements can be a great foundation for recovery from drugs.

Once we make the choice to move towards wellness then the next choice is how?

Article by Jinesh Wilmot

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