One of the biggest challenges in the road to recovery is finding the right resources. If you're considering starting substance abuse counseling, look no further. This article will explain what substance abuse counseling looks like, how to find a counselor who specializes in substance use disorders, and what your other treatment options could be.
What is Substance Abuse Counseling?
Substance abuse counseling is a combination of mental health and drug or alcohol addiction treatment. Depending on your needs, programs can be inpatient or outpatient. Regardless of what setting you seek treatment in, you'll work with a licensed and trained substance use counselor in a clinical environment.
Within that setting, you'll be able to identify factors that contribute to your substance use behaviors, some of the causes for your addiction, establish and practice coping methods, and potentially attend group therapy. Some people also discover that twelve-step programs for substance use are beneficial.
Substance use disorder can co-exist or potentially be caused by depression, anxiety, past trauma, or another mental health disorder. All of these issues are treatable. Just by considering asking for help, you're deciding to better your life.
Regardless of the type of substance a person is using, there are similar signs and symptoms of substance use disorder. This can include the following:
- Illicit drugs
- Prescription drugs
Each type of substance falls into a general categorization of substance use disorder. Some signs that you or a loved one may have an issue with substance abuse are:
- The use of substances is causing legal trouble
- Often getting into physical altercations
- Displaying suspicious behavior
- Changes in personality or attitude
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Disrupting your relationships, whether personal or professional
- Your usage results in neglecting other responsibilities
- You are engaging in increasingly risky behaviors
There are several options for substance use treatment, which are based on your unique needs and circumstances. You may benefit from an intensive inpatient or outpatient program, substance abuse counseling, or a combination of both.
Substance Use Treatment Facilities
Substance use treatment facilities have teams of clinicians who thoroughly understand various substance use disorders and treat them.
The first component of addiction treatment in the evaluation process. This process entails gathering information, including your background and needs, to develop a treatment plan. Addiction treatment settings can include social workers, psychologists, substance use counselors, psychiatrists, creating a multidisciplinary team.
Individual counseling with a therapist specializing in substance use can help you better understand your addiction, acquire coping skills, and learn strategies to prevent relapse.
Aside from individual counseling, many people find group therapy to be incredibly powerful in their treatment. Being able to listen and connect with others going through similar experiences and knowing that you're not alone can make a significant difference in your recovery.
Substance Abuse Counseling May Involve:
- Talk therapy sessions
- Discussing the causes of addiction
- Positive coping strategies
- Developing treatment goals and plans
- Practicing skills and behaviors necessary for recovery
- Recommendations for 12-step programs or groups
Medication-Assisted Treatment: Suboxone
If you're currently experiencing symptoms of opiate addiction, you may benefit from Medication-Assisted Treatment. MAT uses different medications that have buprenorphine as an active ingredient. A Suboxone program uses this as a way to help control cravings and ease your withdrawal symptoms so you can begin your recovery.
How Does Suboxone Treatment Work?
Suboxone medication works by blocking the receptors in the brain responsible for addiction. This helps you avoid getting high off heroin or other opioids and allows you to focus on treatment and recovery without struggling through painful and scary withdrawal symptoms.
Substance Abuse Counseling Goals and Objectives
Personal safety is the priority in your treatment. Once you've stabilized, you'll work with your counselor to define goals based on your:
- Mental health diagnosis
- Social needs and relationships
- Short-term and long-term goals for recovery (e.g., independent living, returning to a former career, etc.)
- Situational stressors that interfere with your ability to stay sober (e.g., underlying behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, chronic disorders, etc.)
With established goals and objectives, you and your counselor will work through the psychological and emotional issues that influence your substance use disorder.
Other Factors in Your Treatment Plan Could Include:
- How motivated you are
- How long you’ve been clean or have been trying to get clean
- If you’ve already started treatment at another facility
We also weigh other factors during early sessions to make sure your needs are met. We encourage everyone looking to get clean to partake in individualized counseling, but our Gratiot and CCMC locations also offer group counseling sessions. It may be intimidating to open up to a group, but we’ve seen an incredible amount of support and encouragement come from group sessions. If you’ve struggled to get clean and stay sober, the group environment may be just what you need.
Finding an Addiction Counselor Near You
It can be pretty stressful finding a treatment facility, so you may benefit from getting a referral from your healthcare provider or trusted loved one.
Still, it can be challenging to come to terms with, let alone reveal you have a substance use issue. If you don't feel quite ready, one solution is to call a national helpline such as SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Or, you can also look into treatment facilities with a substance use counselor. They can help you find the right program if you're unsure where to begin.
Addiction Treatment is Crucial
Acknowledging addiction is hard, but without help, addiction is debilitating and harmful to your health. Whether you realize you have an addiction to opioids, alcohol, prescribed medication, or something else, asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do.
Seeking help for addiction is a complex challenge for anyone because you are treating sub-stance use and addressing underlying issues that aren't always easy to identify. Many people experience addiction to cover up deeper rooted issues, such as childhood trauma or other mental health conditions.
A mental health professional can support you in getting back in control of your life and overcome any obstacles in the way, as this process takes time.
We're Here to Help
Addiction is a genuine struggle for people. Whether you've become addicted to alcohol or opioids, it's challenging to kick the addiction without help. There are dark days when it seems like no one is on your side or understands your situation–but help is close.
We craft an individualized plan for each patient. If you or a loved one seek treatment for alcohol abuse or struggle with medication abuse, our plan will cater to your needs.
Our team of care providers is committed to helping you recover from addiction. We’ll take the time to understand your unique circumstances and craft a treatment plan specifically for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment or call one of our facilities.