Volume 25, April 2003: When Enough is Not Enough

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2003 ISSN # 1545-8873

“Addiction is a condition in which a person cannot determine when enough is enough.” — Unknown

“It takes great courage to break with one’s past history and stand alone.” — Marion Woodman

“As an addict, I am almost guiltily interested in converts to my own illness … (referring to word-sniffing).” — M. F. K. Fisher

“In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.” — Ivan Illich


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Recognizing the destructiveness of addictive behavior in the workplace – to self and others.
  • Taking the lead in establishing employee assistance programs. For every dollar invested, the recovery of loss (e.g. from sick leave, accidents, absenteeism, turnover, poor performance, relationship problems) is estimated at $5.
  • Recognizing that the leader’s own mental health affects the organization’s health, therefore, taking responsibility for personal wellness.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Addiction can take many forms: spending, working, overeating, not eating, gambling, exercising, sex, love, smoking, drinking, chemical substances – legal or not. One might say that anything which assumes patterns of overuse or excess suggests an addiction, or at least, abuse. Where is your life yielding to excess? Find it and fix it. Speed up change and improve success with social support – a buddy, a coach/mentor, a self-help group.

Frequently Asked Questions

“How do I approach someone with a suspected problem?”
Give feedback, using an observed pattern or what you have heard the person say. Advise that you think they might want to stop/cut back. Then check their reaction. Have resources at hand. “I’ve heard you refer to drinking too much.” “I think you should cut back.” “What do you think? Are you ready to work on that?” “Let me refer you to someone who can help …”
“Aren’t EAPs primarily for addiction problems? ”
They were originally created to battle alcoholism, but more progressive programs have expanded to include family, financial, legal and other life problems.
“When is a problem an addiction?”
Using drugs as a teaching example, LifeHub, an internet-based education product by AlignMark, defines abuse as a pattern of overuse of a substance. Addiction is a dependence on a substance, whether a physical or psychological craving – a chronic, relapsing illness that requires treatment to overcome. Dependence is a pattern of substance use that gets worse over time, leading to serious impairment or distress. (See LifeHub.
“What are the stages of recovery?”
My associate, author Marti Smye, described the following, using the example of smoking:
  • Ignore – “I love it; it tastes good; I smoke lights.”
  • Attend – “I’m winded. I need to quit.”
  • Plan – “Monday I’ll quit.”
  • Execute – Tries quitting. Average relapse is 4 times.
  • Embed – Becomes a new behavior (in about 21 days).


Consider wellness on-line for your employees, with AlignMark’s Life Hub program. It contains an “emotional health: addictions” component:LifeHub.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

The heads up on drugs: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Information on club drugs: Club Drugs.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous.

Al-Anon/Alateen’s home page: Al-Anon.

An internet guide to recovery: The Addiction Recovery Guide


  • Beck, Aaron T. et al. Cognitive Therapy of Substance Abuse. Guilford Press, 1993.
  • Donovan, Dennis M. & Marlatt, G. Alan (Eds.) Assessment of Addictive Behaviors. Guilford Press, 1988.
  • Ellis, Albert & Velten, Emmett. When AA Doesn’t Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol. Barricade Books, 1992.
  • Fanning, Patrick & O’Neill, John . The Addiction Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Quitting Alcohol and Drugs. New Harbinger Publications, 1997.
  • >Gorski, Terrence T. Relapse Prevention Counseling Workbook: Managing High-Risk Situations. Herald Publication House, 1996.
  • Gorski, Terrence T. Passages Through Recovery: An Action Plan for Preventing Relapse. Hazelden Information Education, 1997.
  • Marlatt, G. Alan & Gordon, Judith (Eds.) Relapse Prevention. Guilford Press, 1985.
  • May, Gerald G. Addiction and Grace : Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions. Harper San Francisco, 1991.
  • Miller, William & C’deBaca. Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives. Guilford Press, 2001.
  • Prochaska, James O. & Crawley, Brian. Changing for Good. Avon Books, 1995.
  • Schaler, Jeffrey. Addiction is a Choice. Open Court Publishing Company, ,2000.


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