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(207) 521-9715

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Drug Addiction Counseling

Substance abuse is hard to overcome. Patients need mental health professionals to provide counseling and help manage cravings. 

Across the US, treatment counselors build strong relationships with patients. Addiction counseling involves everything from dual diagnosis therapy and family counseling to group meetings and art therapy.

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Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

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Mental Health Counselors

At drug treatment facilities, each patient meets with an appointed counselor to open up about issues regarding drug addiction. Meetings cover topics like:

  • Drug history – How long has the patient been abusing drugs or alcohol. This indicates the depth of his/her addiction and what measures might be needed to overcome the addiction.
  • Usage habits – How often does the patient abuse drugs or alcohol? What type of drugs does the patient consume (downers, uppers, hallucinogens)? Does the patient mix drugs?
  • Addiction intensity – How far down the path of addiction has the patient fallen? Has he/she neglected work, family, friends and social obligations? Does his/her entire life revolve around drugs?
  • Co-occurring problems – Does the patient have pre-existing health problems? What damage has drug use done to the patient’s physical and mental health?

Drug rehab counselors use this information to customize a treatment plan most suitable for the individual in question.

Group Meetings

In drug treatment programs, patients meet in groups to share their stories about addiction. Treatment center counselors moderate each meeting, which covers topics like:

  • Progress – What progress has each patient made since starting drug treatment? Each patient will have progress stories that others can learn from.
  • Struggles – What are the weaknesses of each patient in the room? What measures does each patient take to cope with his/her drug cravings? What are the common vice triggers?
  • Triumphs – What accomplishments has each patient made (beyond drugs, addiction) since entering rehab? How far have different patients come (career, personal, etc)? How did he/she do it?
  • Insights – What has each patient learned since entering rehab? What advice would this person/that person give to other recovering drug users?

Group therapy is a powerful way for people to beat drug addiction in a mutually supportive setting. People in group meetings all come from different backgrounds but are bound by a common goal: sobriety.

Family Counseling

One of the most critical aspects of drug treatment counseling is family therapy. In most cases, family members feel alienated by addicted loved ones. Family counseling provides help in the following areas:

  • Communication – Family members typically don’t know how to talk to their drug-addicted loved ones. Many people view addiction as a moral problem. In family therapy, relatives learn to understand that addiction is a mental health problem.
  • Sensitivity – In family therapy sessions, relatives learn how to properly address certain sensitive issues around recovering loved ones. People with drug addiction often struggle with insecurity and self-doubt, which makes them more sensitive than sober people.
  • Education – Counseling sessions include information about drugs and addiction. This helps families understand the power of drugs and the psychological factors at play.
  • Transition – As patients prepare for their exit from outpatient or inpatient treatment, counselors help families prepare for their loved one’s return home.

Therapy sessions can help the whole family understand and better deal with their recovering loved one. Drug rehab is a happier experience with family involvement.

Dual Diagnosis Therapy

One of the most popular treatment approaches in modern rehab counseling is dual-diagnosis therapy, which helps identify a drug patient’s co-occurring mental health problems. The method helps doctors pinpoint:

  • Trauma – A lot of people with addictive behaviors have suffered childhood trauma. In many cases, the trauma is internalized; buried deep in the patient’s subconscious. Drug use is an outward manifestation of baggage.
  • Grief – Some people use drugs and alcohol to cope with grief. When a person loses a parent early in life, the grief might last well into adulthood.
  • Abandonment – If a person grows up with absentee parents, he/she might grow up with abandonment issues and use drugs to compensate for the emptiness.
  • Depression – Some people resort to drugs to cope with depression triggered by health problems, job loss and romantic breakups.

Doctors and patients meet multiple times to discuss these matters. In some cases, these meetings uncover long-repressed memories. The doctor then uses this information to customize a treatment plan best suited to the needs of that person.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Another type of therapy that counselors use to treat individuals is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps patients reverse the deep-seated negative beliefs that often fuel destructive behavior. CBT covers:

  • Subconscious beliefs – Behavioral disorders are often driven by negative subconscious beliefs, such as “failure is inevitable and life is short so there’s no reason to resist temptation.”
  • Mind guidance – The mind is active 24/7 and will roam uncontrolled unless properly guided. When people don’t proactively think positively, the mind might dwell on negative memories and feelings. CBT teaches people to positively guide the mind until positivity becomes deep-seated and second nature.
  • Visualization – The wandering mind’s eye will often stumble on depressing and horrific visuals.  Sometimes, these are images of bad past experiences that fuel current behavior. CBT helps people train their visual minds and use positive imagery to inspire better feelings and decision-making.
  • Positive reinforcement – CBT helps people weed out the negative and focus on the positive on the conscious and subconscious levels.

It’s hard for an individual to overcome a behavioral disorder when the subconscious mind reinforces the beliefs behind it. CBT helps people reverse those beliefs at the deepest level.

Experiential Therapy

At residential treatment centers, patients partake in activities designed to get their minds off drugs and alcohol.

  • Music therapy – When patients focus on musical details, they uncover layers, textures and harmonic nuances that are often lost on passive listeners. This engages the creative thought process.
  • Art therapy – Activities like painting, drawing and sculpture give people new passions and goals. When a patient devotes him/herself to painting, it becomes a positive and time-consuming undertaking that requires mental clarity and hand-eye coordination.
  • Physical therapy – Activities like yoga and exercise engage the body in healthy ways that contradict the lethargic state of most hardcore drug users. The more people exercise, the more they enjoy the activity and wish to support it with good eating and proper health.
  • Equine therapy – Animals keep people in touch with the innocent side of life. Through animals, people can envy lives with no drugs, politics, taxes or financial responsibilities. Activities like equine therapy (horseback riding and horse care) help people appreciate life.

Experiential therapy helps people with their treatment goals because it engages the mind and body in ways that counter the habits associated with drug addiction.

Substance Abuse Treatment Plans

To kick substance-abuse habits and achieve sobriety, patients must combine addiction counseling with full-course rehab treatment. Drug and alcohol treatment programs include:

  • Detox – The first step against drug abuse is detox, where the patient stops using drugs and alcohol and enters rehab. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms peak on days two and three. Best done under 24/7 supervision at a rehab facility where doctors may administer anti-addiction medications to suppress cravings.
  • Residential inpatient treatment – This involves a 30-90-day stay at a rehab treatment center. Inpatient treatment includes group therapy, private counseling, meals, experiential therapy and education.
  • Outpatient treatment plans – An alternative to inpatient treatment where the patient comes to the rehab facility in the daytime for group activities, therapy and wellness exercises. Good for people with less-severe cases of addiction.
  • Aftercare – Ongoing support for people who complete inpatient or outpatient care. Some rehab centers connect graduates with employee assistance programs and sober-housing openings.

Drug abuse rehab treatment usually takes three months to complete. Afterward, sobriety is an ongoing commitment.

Get Help: Find Substance Abuse Addiction Counseling

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

No one should let a substance use disorder overtake their life. Problems like drug and alcohol abuse can be overcome with the help of addiction counselors.

If someone you know struggles with drug abuse, call the nearest treatment centers in your area and ask about their counseling options for people with substance use disorders. Your call could save a life.

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