Is Abstinence the Only Addiction Treatment?


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When it comes to addiction treatment, many people believe you need to start a 12-step program and practice complete abstinence. The general belief is that these are the only treatment options and ways to judge success. If you have a relapse and start using again, you’ve failed and need to start over.

But is that true?

Join us as today’s guest, Dr. Michael Tkach, explains that there’s more to treating addiction than just the well-known abstinence-only approach. Listen as he discusses how important concepts like harm reduction, social support, and family and friends are to the recovery process.

To read the transcript or learn more, please visit the official episode page here.

Guest Bio

Dr. Michael Tkach is the chief behavioral health officer for Affinity. He oversees the integration of mental health-informed practice and related research initiatives for select divisions of Affinity, as well as leads the Return-to-Work division where Affinity is an industry leader in providing enterprise-wide COVID-19 testing to employers, universities, and other business partners.

Tkach has 15+ years of mental health and addiction treatment experience and is a published researcher on addiction treatment, semiotics, mobile therapeutics, employee recruitment and retention, evidence-based practice, and trauma-informed care. He’s also a seasoned presenter to a variety of audiences on numerous clinical and research related topics. He has been the recipient of professional awards for his work including the Distinguished Alumni Award and a Clinical Innovation Award, and has appeared on radio and other media platforms for professional interviews on a variety of topics.

Inside Mental Health Podcast Host

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, "Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations," available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

282 episodes