Substance Abuse Counseling Programs
As the general use and abuse of illegal substances increases, there will be a continuing need for substance abuse counseling in every community. Counseling is a very common method of treatment for substance abuse, and it’s a regular part of most substance abuse programs at treatment centers of all shapes and sizes. Substance abuse can be broken down into alcohol abuse and drug abuse, but it can also mean that an addict is regularly abusing both.
No matter what the drug of choice, substance abuse can ruin lives and tear families apart, and finding a good treatment program becomes a last hope for many addicts. Fortunately, there are substance abuse counseling programs that will appeal to individuals of all types, making it easier for an abuser to enter into and stay in treatment and counseling.
Types of Substance Abuse Programs
Various substance abuse counseling programs are available at virtually all treatment centers, whether inpatient or outpatient, short-term or long-term. Substance abuse programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) may use a 12 step approach to treatment, during which patients work on progressing through various sequential “steps” or milestones, with the ultimate goal of finding forgiveness and returning to society as a sober and healed individual. Twelve step programs are often faith- or religion-based, but that is not always the case.
Non 12 step substance abuse programs are becoming much more common, and there is added flexibility in these types of programs. Non 12 step treatment may be inpatient, meaning that patients check in to a live-in treatment facility where they receive round-the-clock care and treatment, or it may be outpatient, meaning that patients “check out” each day after receiving treatment (such as attending a counseling session or a meeting) and return to their normal lives.
What to Expect from Substance Abuse Counseling Programs
When going into substance abuse counseling, addicts can expect to be met with kindness, compassion, and understanding from their counselor. They can expect to leave each session with a better understanding of themselves and of the reasons and consequences behind their actions and addiction. Treatment plans will depend largely on the needs of individual patients; a counselor will draw on his experience to decide on a treatment plan, but it’s important that patients take an active interest in setting their goals and creating a plan with their counselors.
On the other end of the spectrum, patients should not expect substance abuse counseling programs to be easy. However, they should also know that their counselor will expect each patient to truly want to get better, and to work hard at achieving that goal. Fortunately, because there are so many different options for people who are seeking substance abuse counseling programs, finding a counseling program that a patient really clicks with can go a long way in making him feel more motivated in his recovery.