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Dr. J Thomas Smith

Source: Dr. J Thomas Smith / Radio One Houston

Do you know anyone who fits this description?

Many men and women who think or feel that they are inferior to others often choose some kind of habit, or pattern of behavior, in an effort to overcome that sense of inadequacy. Their need to escape those feelings tend to become more intense during times of increased stress or deep inner conflict. One’s internal inferior feelings shows itself in the actions of that individual.  Very often those inferior feelings are thinly veiled and visible in the form of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, compulsive eating, gambling and other forms of addiction.  These individuals may also engage in aggressive behavior and the blaming of others for their issues.

Rationalizing Addictive Behaviors

No successful individual wishes for a destructive addiction.  What those individuals actually want is the ability and the power to build better lives for themselves and their families.  Afraid that they do not possess this amazing power to improve their lives, these men and women use excuses and blame to rationalize their specific addictive or abusive behavior.  They do this in an effort to guard the sliver of dignity they feel they have remaining.

Are You Ready for Recovery?

Should you realize that you or someone else you know are coping with addiction or substance abuse, rather than blaming or justifying the behavior, ask appropriate questions such as:

Do I truly wish to be healed and recover from this abusive and addictive behavior?

Am I ready and willing to take the first step to improve myself on the road to recovery?

Do I realize that I cannot control other people?  I can only control myself.

Am I prepared to choose to let go of my addiction and other destructive habits?

Am I prepared to let go of my abuse excuses, and my blaming of others?

Am I prepared to realize happiness and peace in my life?

A Common Crutch

It is a fact that these days, alcohol and drugs are common crutches that people in all walks of life use.  I have worked with many individuals who have the feeling of being tongue-tied or awkward at social events. They rationalize that a few shots or beers will give them a lift.  They feel that they will become less of an introvert and become more outgoing.  A lot of people drink to feel better about themselves, even to the point of abuse or becoming addicted to alcohol.

As an addictions professional, it is still amazing to me that a seemingly innocent use of alcohol can very quickly and quite easily become an addiction.  This is especially true if people believe that they are somehow made better when they consume alcohol.

Substance Abusers Are Beaten Before They Begin

The abuse of alcohol and drugs, or any other addiction, can be serious forms of personal failure.  The many people who rely on any kind of external substance of abuse, are beaten before they begin, until they find a way to work and improve their sense of weaknesses and heal what hurts.

However, these individuals can easily find healing, or at least embark on the road to recovery.  But first, they must stop the addictive and abusive behaviors.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  But once the decision is made, it becomes easier to find a system or program of recovery that will work to resolve their particular pains and fears.   Treatment works.  But, it begins with the first step. One day at a time.  If you or someone you know needs help in overcoming addictive behaviors, the resources below are excellent sources of help.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) maintains a Web site ( that shows the location of residential, outpatient, and hospital inpatient treatment programs for drug addiction and alcoholism throughout the country. This information is also accessible by calling 1-800-662-HELP.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) offers more than just suicide prevention—it can also help with a host of issues, including drug and alcohol abuse, and can connect individuals with a nearby professional.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness ( and Mental Health America ( are alliances of nonprofit, self-help support organizations for patients and families dealing with a variety of mental disorders. Both have State and local affiliates throughout the country and may be especially helpful for patients with comorbid conditions.

J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on “The Real Sound of Htown” KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 cst). He is an attorneyauthorkeynote speaker and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome at or Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102 on and