Substance Abuse Counselor

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About Drug Abuse Counseling Programs

Drug abuse counseling programs in all communities have taken in users of gateway drugs, hardcore drugs, and even legal drugs. But the legal status or perceived severity of a drug doesn’t matter when it’s being abused; the dangers of drug abuse are real, and so are the consequences. That’s why getting help through drug abuse counseling is so important, and why counseling methods are constantly updating and adapting to the ways that drugs and their abusers behave.

Drug Abuse Counseling Programs: What are Your Options?

12 Step Treatment and Counseling

This is the “original” form of addiction treatment. The 12 steps were originally implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, but they’re still in use by many alcohol and drug abuse counseling programs today. The 12 steps are religious in nature, and have to do with strengthening one’s relationship with God in order to move through the healing process.

Group Counseling

Group Counseling for Drug Abuse

Drug abuse counseling can be individual or in a group setting.

This can be religious or secular in nature, but the main goal of group counseling is to share one’s experiences with others and to learn from other people who have “been there, done that.” The great thing about group counseling is that addicts are reassured that they’re not going through the treatment process alone. Also, the drug abuse counseling “veterans” can give their support and guidance to those who are newer to the process and are more likely to waver in their treatment.

Christian Counseling

Whether discussing the 12 steps or not, Christian- or other faith-based counseling can be a huge source of comfort for religious individuals. Many Christian drug abuse counseling programs exist, so religious individuals should feel encouraged to place trust in the hands of a higher power and seek treatment in their religious communities.


What to Expect from Drug Abuse Counseling

Counselors understand that there is no one correct answer as to how he should go about treating a patient. However, most counselors will agree that a combination of techniques can (and often should) be applied when an addict is going through drug abuse counseling.

Behavior Modification

Behavior Modification or behavioral treatment is extremely important in drug abuse counseling programs. Behavior modification aims to do just what is implied; a patient must learn to modify or change his views and attitudes about drugs and drug abuse. He must get control over his addiction, and learn to implement healthier life habits in the place of old, unhealthy habits.

Adding Medication to the Mix

Depending on the severity of the drug abuse and the needs of the patient, a counselor may prescribe medication to help ease the physical symptoms of detox and withdrawal, to help deal with pain caused by the after effects of extended drug abuse, or for mental issues such as depression that may have contributed to an addict’s initial drug use. Medication is not used as a go-to treatment during drug abuse counseling, but it may have its place when behavioral modification is not enough on its own.

A view of a group therapy area

Drug Abuse Counseling Choices: More is Better

Alcohol and drug abuse is an ongoing problem that too many people deal with every day. But thankfully, gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to treating it. Though old methods of counseling and treatment are certainly still relevant, people from all walks of life should have the benefit of a choice of drug abuse counseling that is more likely to match with their values and tendencies, thus making them more likely to reach a healthier, happier, and sober life in the future.