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Substance Abuse Counseling Techniques

Medical and Behavioral treatment for substance abuse

A substance abuse counselor will know different techniques to help you through recovery.

Whether they are new to their field or they’ve been practicing for many years, substance abuse counselors have been taught and trained that not all substance abuse counseling techniques are created equal. Different patients with different addictions don’t always react the same to any given counseling method, so treating all patients the exact same way would be a waste of time for counselors and many of their patients.

Part of being a good counselor means knowing when to utilize certain counseling techniques for substance abuse. But part of being a good patient means listening to your counselor’s advice and taking it with you when you are not with your counselor. In order to be proactive in your treatment, you can familiarize yourself with some of the various techniques that counselors may use in treatment. By understanding some of these counseling methods, you can be a better patient and can work with your counselor to maximize your chances of a successful recovery.

Counseling Techniques for Substance Abuse

Whether for drugs or alcohol, any substance abuse problems, if left untreated, can turn into full-blown addiction and can have devastating consequences. When a counselor steps in, it is crucial that he understands how to effectively treat his patients using various substance abuse counseling techniques.

Behavioral Treatment

Behavioral treatment is a common and effective substance abuse counseling strategy. It’s aimed at challenging a patient to modify his attitudes about substance abuse, and regaining control over addiction. It’s also about learning to make healthier life choices, and not just in relation to substance abuse.


As a supplement to behavioral therapy, certain medications or medical practices may be safely implemented along with other substance abuse counseling techniques. Approved medications can be used to ease withdrawal during the initial treatment stages, and they may be prescribed throughout treatment to help with drug or substance abuse and to restore brain functions that have been affected by severe use.

Why Patients Should Learn about Substance Abuse Counseling Techniques

Counselors will have their own personalized methods of therapy, and they are always learning and improving their counseling techniques with each and every patient they see. But at their core, counseling techniques for substance abuse are about bringing a patient out of denial and teaching him to take responsibility for his problems and his actions throughout treatment. Other essential counseling techniques involve preparing the patient for what he will face once he embraces a sober lifestyle. This means teaching him to take back control of his life, preparing him for the new challenges he will encounter, and encouraging him to get outside help and support to supplement counseling.

As a patient, you can make great waves in your treatment by familiarizing yourself with the various substance abuse counseling techniques that a counselor may employ. In doing so, you will be better prepared to take what you learn in counseling and apply it to the rest of your life to increase your chances of success with sobriety.