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White Sheet

Substance Use

Addiction Therapist West Hollywood | Michael Pezzullo
Addiction Therapist West Hollywood | Michael Pezzullo
Addiction Therapist West Hollywood | Michael Pezzullo

"A hurt is at the center of all addictive  behaviors."

How do I know if I have a problem?

We all know that alcohol and substance use is rampant in our culture. It’s one thing to party every now and then, but it’s also very easy to go too far and lose control. Since substance use is so normalized, it can be very difficult to know if you have a problem. If you're reading this, my guess is part of you might be concerned. Maybe you've been trying to stop on your own for a while, but you just can't seem too. Or, maybe you've found that can you can stop on your own. But you can't stay stopped.

Addiction doesn't look the same on everyone.


You come home from a long day of work feeling drained and exhausted, but you still can't relax. Instead, your mind replays the stressful events of the day and your anxiety begins to build. The only thing that brings you some calm is a strong drink. But that one drink leads to several more than you intended.

Or, you met up with someone on a hook up app. You arrive feeling so self conscious that you wonder if you'll be able to enjoy the sexual experience at all. They ask you if you like to party and play. You’ve heard of the dangers, but you decide to throw caution to the wind—just this once. Now, several months later, you’ve developed a drug habit. You desperately want to quit, but you can’t.

The addiction serves a purpose.

Our job as human beings is to adapt. Addiction is an adaptation. It's an attempt to cope with emotional pain by numbing and escaping conscious awareness. So, rather than trying to get frustrated with our addiction. First, we need to get to know it. If we don't understand the purpose of our substance use, we will never be free from it. As Gabor Mate, one of the world's most prominent addiction experts said, "The first question is not 'why the addiction'--it's 'why the pain?'"

You don't have to do this alone.

I have years of specialized experience treating substance use in private practice, intensive outpatient and residential levels of care. I can help you understand what's driving the urge to self-medicate.  I work with clients using both harm reduction and abstinence based recovery models. I can also connect you with the resources you will need to beat this.

You should be proud of yourself for seeking help. It takes courage to face life on life’s terms--without the numbing effects of drugs and alcohol.

Curious about recovery? Here are some of my favorite resources to get started.

AA Meeting Directory

Refuge Recovery Meeting Directory


LGBTQ+ 12-Step Meetings


- Alcoholics Anonymous

- In the realm of hungry ghosts

- Refuge Recovery

- Chasing the scream

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