Specializing in Substance/ Alcohol Addiction, Grief and Trauma


 A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period: 

  1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household) 

  2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use) 

  3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct 

  4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)


An individual may be struggling with alcohol abuse if they:

  • spend a lot of time drinking or recovering from alcohol

  • use alcohol regardless of negative effects on their relationships

  • miss obligations like work, school or social functions because of alcohol

  • engage in dangerous behavior while drinking

  • binge drink (four drinks for a woman or five drinks for a man in two hours)

  • continue drinking despite health problems or pregnancy


Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job). Emotional reactions of grief can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, and despair. Physical reactions of grief can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness.


Trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. When loosely applied, this trauma definition can refer to something upsetting, such as being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. However, it can also encompass the far extreme and include experiences that are severely damaging, such as rape or torture. 


Often, shock and denial are typical reactions to a traumatic event. Over time, these emotional responses may fade, but a survivor may also experience reactions long-term. These can include:

  • Anger

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and despair

  • Flashbacks

  • Unpredictable emotions

  • Physical symptoms, such as nausea and headaches

  • Intense feelings of guilt, as if they are somehow responsible for the event

  • An altered sense of shame

  • Feelings of isolation and hopelessnes


Contact Me

Toni Schmeider, LCDP, CCJP, CATP, CGSC

Hope, Believe & Achieve, LLC

4372 Post Road Suite 4

East Greenwich, RI 02818

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