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» Provider Directory » Find a Therapist » Arizona » Scottsdale Therapists » Therapist Profile


Jef Gazley, MS, LMFT

Chemical Dependence and Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive and fatal disease that has many interrelated causes, but no cure at the present time. Among the causes is a liver disorder that breaks down alcohol at one-half the rate compared to non-alcoholics. Alcohol abuse is different than alcoholism in that it has no physical symptoms of tolerance or withdrawal, but is serious and characterized by excessive drinking with pervasive negative consequences.

Counseling can help a person know the signs of alcoholism. Counseling is also an effective forum to assist treatment. Screening for alcohol problems can also be addressed by counseling. For more detailed information on chemical dependence, alcohol, and drug abuse order the substance abuse tape by Jef Gazley, M.S. Check out our Videos section for more information about Alcoholism.

Characteristics of alcohol dependency:

1. A family history of alcoholism. Addiction to alcohol is a genetic problem and although it can skip a generation it will be present somewhere in the family tree if you look closely enough and are honest with yourself.

2. Tolerance consuming alcohol. Often people deny that they suffer from alcoholism because they can drink more than others that they know and in the first stage of the problem actually show less negative effects from their drinking. The reality is that their bodies are changing in reaction to the drinking. In the first stage of alcoholism the body runs more effectively on alcohol than without and that lulls the alcoholic into a false sense of security. Alcohol continues to effect the body however and soon the negative results begin to become apparent. At the last stage of alcoholism a person has less tolerance than others and often will get drunk on one or two drinks.

3. Withdrawal symptoms. The full syndrome of alcohol withdrawal begins with a severe hangover. After a few hours a person may notice that they feel a bit better, but soon the tremors or shakes appear. This may be noticed by tremulous hands or just a feeling of shakiness inside. Later a person may feel nauseous. Often a person begins to go through Delirium Tremors, which is the experience of seeing and hearing things that are not there in reality. Ants, snakes, or bugs crawling over the sufferer is often imagined. Convulsions, a coma, and death are possible with alcohol withdrawal. However, even a person who only experiences a feeling of shaking inside is in withdrawal. Often it takes years to develop the full syndrome.

4. Gross personality change while drinking. Everyone experiences a personality change when they drink too much, but someone with a true problem will often have a dramatic change. This could only happen around 20% of the time, but would still fit the criteria.

5. Driving while intoxicated. This is an unsafe thing to do and it is a sign of alcoholism because often a person will need to drink on the way home from the bar. This happens because temporarily a person will perform better when drinking because they are used to it.

6. History of blackouts ( memory lapses while drinking ). This includes patchy memory that comes back when a friend reminds the person of what happened when they were drinking. Black outs do not happen every time a person uses alcohol and it is often not the majority of the time.

7. One major area of life severely affected by drinking. Including legal, financial, career, school, health, and relationships.

2004 Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC

Jef Gazley, MS, LMFT, Scottsdale

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Scottsdale, AZ 85254

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Credential Abbreviations

Attention Deficit Disorder
ADD-care a Natural Alternative
Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity ADD/ADHD

Energy Psychology
EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Neuro Emotional Technique or NET
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD
Tru Brain Trauma Therapy

Addictive Love
Healthy Love

Substance Abuse
Chemical Dependence and Alcoholism
Codependence - Codependency

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Last Modified: 10/21/2019  

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The information provided on this site is for educational or informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or behavioral health care advice. The information is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health.
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