In this episode, Dr. Toni is talking with certified professional recovery coach and intervention specialist Kristin Moore about how substance use disorder, also commonly referred to as addiction, can impact a lot of women and their families, especially in the current pandemic. What is defined as a mild substance abuse disorder may surprise you!

Kristin founded the company Shift Recovery Solutions to support professionals, executives, business owners, their families and colleagues to address substance dependency issues and disrupt the fear, stigma and myths around addiction that exist today.

“Addiction is not a spectator sport”

In this episode, we cover:

  • How substance use disorder is a mental health issue and how language is important to shift the stigma and shame around addiction
  • The medical definition of substance use disorder 
    • A primary chronic disease of the brain around reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry with aspects of biology, psychology, social and spiritual inputs
    • Characterized by continually pursuing reward and/or relief by a substance or behaviour, including shopping, video gaming, etc.
    • Prone to cycles of remission and relapse with morbidity and mortality involved
    • Two-fold aspect of mental obsession and physical response, almost like an allergy
  • The three legs that are often needed in place for you to develop substance use disorder:
    • genetic or hereditary link
    • experience of trauma
    • environmental or social support of unhealthy behaviours eg. drinking culture for university or college students, wine drinking in mommy groups
  • The key indicators to look for when asking yourself if you or someone you know may have a substance use disorder:
    • Hazardous use – dangerous for yourself or others eg. driving under the influence
    • Social or interpersonal problems related to use eg. conflicts
    • Neglect of major roles and responsibilities at home or work
    • Withdrawal symptoms when you stop using
    • Tolerance built up so you need more for the same effect experienced in the past
    • Larger amounts used for a longer period of time for the same effect experienced in the past
    • Spend a lot of time using
    • Start having physical or psychological problems related to your use such as:
      • Liver damage
      • Lung cancer
      • Depression
      • Anxiety
    • You start to skip or give up on your usual activities
    • Craving or mental obsession 
    • 2 or more of above in 12 month period fits a diagnosis of substance use disorder
      • 2-3 = mild
      • 4-5 = moderate
      • 6 or more = severe
  • How denial around substance use can have you continue the progression of the disorder
  • How alcohol use makes up a large portion of substance abuse
    • Canadian drinking guidelines: 10 drinks per week for women, with no more than 3 drinks at one sitting
    • UBC study links alcohol use in breast cancer; 50% of women are still drinking alcohol within the Canadian drinking guidelines
  • How substance use can shift from pleasure to coping
  • Resources online include:
  • How Recovery Coaching can support the creation of goals around sobriety and a holistic approach tailored to each individual, as well as filling the huge gap that can occur before and after professional medical treatment
  • How you can support someone else who is dealing with substance dependency
  • How an intervention specialist works with a family and individual dealing with substance dependency, and not just creating surprise interventions

You can connect with Kristin for a free consultation at

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni has relied on the relatively healthy escape of the historical drama The Crown on Netflix as a break away from the negative aspects of the present pandemic.

Thank you for joining us today! 

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Stay safe and healthy everyone!