Addicts can often feel helpless, but they do not have to feel hopeless. There are better ways to treat people with substance abuse histories that improve their chances for success. As part of the American College of Orgonomy’s educational outreach program they will sponsor a presentation by Dr. Edward Chastka titled “A Functional Look at Alcohol and Drug Addiction.” The presentation will draw on Dr. Chastka’s 20 years of experience treating drug addicts and alcoholics and will take place on Saturday, February 4, at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, from 4 to 6 p.m.

“The current treatment for addicts is often a revolving door,” states Dr. Chastka. “Modern medical and psychiatric training does not adequately prepare doctors to treat addiction. Patients are detoxified from their drugs, receive some medication and counseling, and are then released to outpatient programs where they frequently relapse. The underlying social, family, and emotional causes of the addiction are rarely addressed. Patients in early recovery often suffer overwhelming guilt and pain but have lost the coping mechanisms most of us use to defend ourselves. This leads back to depression and anxiety, which the patient seeks to escape with more drugs or alcohol.” The type of therapy offered by Dr. Chastka and his medical orgonomist colleagues breaks this cycle.

“Addiction invades life like a cancer and gradually replaces social and emotional connections; at the same time it destroys our natural character defenses against stress and anxiety. Once the drugs are withdrawn in a supervised manner, the medical orgonomist helps strengthen the patient by helping them rebuild their natural defenses. The addict learns to acknowledge how destructive the addiction is for themselves and their loved ones. Their ability to think and feel has been damaged by the substance abuse and with appropriate therapy, they can learn to tolerate emotions and express them appropriately.”

Says Dr. Chastka: “One of the key components to recovery is the rebuilding of social support and an acceptance of rational authority. 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous provide the patient with both a sense of belonging and a group of peers who help each other stay clean and sober. They encourage the addict to develop a spiritual connection with a higher power, which helps re-establish authority in their lives.”

A graduate of the University of Virginia Medical School, Dr. Chastka is board-certified in psychiatry. His private practice in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, treats children, adults, couples, and families. He has consulted for the past 16 years at the Caron Foundation, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, and helped found a dual-diagnosis clinic for indigent patients at Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania. He currently provides supervision in psychiatry to family practice residents from Lancaster General Hospital, Reading Hospital, and Lehigh Valley Hospital. He is a clinical associate of the American College of Orgonomy (ACO) and coordinator of the ACO Sociopolitical Orgonomy Course. He has also spoken on a wide range of topics as well as published numerous articles in the Journal of Orgonomy.

Admission is free. Suggested adult, non-student donation is $45. Reservations are recommended. Call 732-821-1144 or make your reservation online by visiting www.orgonomy.org.

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