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Consumer Health Digest Article Highlights the Importance of Practicing Positive Virtues for Recovering Substance Users

San Clemente, Calif. — In a new article in Consumer Health Digest, On Love And Hatred: What To Choose To Defeat The Enemy Within You, founder and CEO of Sovereign Health Tonmoy Sharma, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., explains why recovering substance users need to examine the  role of  resentment in their substance use problem by reviewing the seven vices – pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth – to identify what went wrong and take steps towards a positive lifestyle.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) viewed alcoholism as a spiritual malady and urged recovering alcohol users to strive for a spiritual awakening. But the awakening is not enough to maintain sobriety. Ongoing maintenance and vigilance are required to prevent relapse.

In the article, Dr. Sharma, urges recovering individuals to examine all aspects of their lives and to determine the how-when-and-why behind their anger, fear and resentment that may have contributed to their need to use. When dealing with resentments, an individual should list the people, institutions or principles that cause resentment and stress. The causes are usually based in our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions and/or our personal relationships. Addressing these negative feelings may be scary, but doing so is part of the recovery process.

The article urges substance users to make use of the seven vices (also called the seven deadly sins) to identify areas for positive change. By examining each vice and understanding how it affected her/his life when using, a person with substance use problems can deal with the fear, guilt, envy and other emotions that destroy serenity and psychological balance.

Dr. Sharma closes with some advice: “Staying busy focusing on positive virtues leaves no time for vices, and the rewards are great. In fact, for people in recovery, practicing these and other virtues are critical to avoiding relapse. Virtuous living also allows humans to experience the gifts of life, love and learning that their Creator intended for them to enjoy.”

People do not need to be religious to successfully recover from substance use, but reviewing the seven deadly sins, Dr. Sharma posits, can be helpful. The article offers practical advice on replacing each ‘sin’ with one of the corresponding seven virtues—prudence (sound judgment), justice (fairness), faith (trust), fortitude (resilience), temperance (self-restraint), hope (anticipation) and charity (voluntary giving)—a novel approach for substance users who strive to remain sober and healthy throughout their lives.

About Tonmoy Sharma

Tonmoy Sharma has spent years crisscrossing the country presenting on measurement-based care (MBC) at conferences and community events. His hope is that in the not-too-distant future, clinicians and the public nationwide will embrace MBC as the highly successful, evidence-based treatment that is the best approach to treating addiction and mental health issues.

Sharma has been recognized with numerous awards, honors and grants for his work in advancing mental health and its treatment in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. He is a prolific researcher and scientist as well as the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and five books on schizophrenia and mental illness. Dr. Sharma has served on numerous editorial boards, acted as peer reviewer for 14 international medical journals, and has been on various advisory boards governing the development of antipsychotics. He currently co-hosts KABC 790 AM’s “In Your Right Mind,” a cutting-edge, weekly radio show that covers various topics in behavioral health, and was selected by the OCBJ to be listed in the OC500 as one of the most influential people in the Orange County business community in 2016.

About Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health is a network of detox and behavioral health treatment centers that have qualified for the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal accreditation. The company consistently ranks as a top provider of behavioral health services, according to the independent eBASIS report from McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. In McLean’s quarterly reports for 2016, Sovereign has surpassed 50 other treatment centers nationwide in several important health care measures.

Sovereign Health’s facilities are licensed in accordance with state regulations. The Joint Commission is the nation’s leading health care standards-setting and accrediting organization and sets a very high bar for qualifying for the Gold Seal designation. Sovereign’s extensive national network of nine facilities across five states also enjoys the distinction of being accredited to provide concurrent mental health and substance use treatment, a rarity in the field.

Sovereign Health’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of high-quality behavioral health treatment services for adults and adolescents, including support services for family members. One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been the company’s ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. For more information, visit

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