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WHY IS COUNSELLING IMPORTANT FOR ADDICTION RECOVERY?

Giving up the use of alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or any other substance is a big achievement. There is plenty to be proud of, but work still has to be done. Detox is only the first step in a long process that will teach you to control your desires and prevent relapse. The therapy of many persons for substance use disorders includes counselling.

With the assistance of cognitive behavioural therapy, family counselling, and other types of treatment, you can maintain sobriety. Psychotherapy can also be used to treat other mental health issues that frequently contribute to substance abuse. Misuse of substances should not be taken lightly. When you use alcohol, prescription drugs, and other medications excessively or improperly, it occurs.

The misuse of substances is not the same as addiction. Many people who battle substance abuse are able to stop using drugs or change their damaging habits. On the other hand, addiction is a medical issue. It means that even if your condition hurts you, you won't be able to stop using. The usage of illegal drugs is typically mentioned when people talk about substance addiction.



Drug abuse affects you in more ways than just your mood. They can alter your reaction times, cloud your perceptions, and impair your judgement, placing you at risk of harm or an accident. Some contend that occasional, recreational use of some drugs is not harmful and constitutes use only, not abuse. The strongest proponents of drug use for recreational purposes are marijuana smokers. They claim that marijuana has many positive qualities and is not addictive, in contrast to "harder" opioids. Society has determined that the use of illegal substances is harmful and has placed legal limitations on it. 2 This attempts to protect both the well-being of individuals and society from costs related to connected healthcare resources, lost productivity, disease transmission, crime, and homelessness (although the impact of criminalising this use has been open to substantial disagreement).

Reasons You Need Counselling

A substance use disorder encompasses more than just a drug or alcohol addiction. You still run a high risk of relapse even after detox, when your body is no longer dependent on the drug. There are some psychological and social factors that can be major relapse triggers:

  • Stress, especially unforeseen stresses from daily life

  • environmental indicators, like a trip to a nearby town

  • Spending time on social networking platforms with those who still use them

The want to use these things again could be strong. Counselling can assist you in overcoming cravings and developing coping mechanisms free of the use of drugs or alcohol. There are several counselling methods available to assist those who have drug use issues.

There is no proof that one strategy is better than the other. Similarly, no one opiate addiction treatment method is effective for everyone. The optimal treatment strategy will be tailored to your addiction and individual needs.


Psychotherapy using cognitive behaviour:

The cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, instructs patients on how to recognise the thoughts, feelings, and situations that lead to drug cravings. You will receive advice from a therapist on how to avoid certain triggers. You'll learn how to swap out unfavourable thoughts and feelings with helpful ones that will keep you sober. This is a successful therapeutic approach since the talents you will acquire will last a lifetime. However, not every therapist has acquired training in the techniques used in cognitive behavioural therapy.


Therapy for dialectical behaviour

The two main tenets of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) are acceptance and transformation. DBT was created in the 1970s to treat people who were suicidal, but it is now used for a variety of issues, including substance abuse issues.

Reducing substance use and the behaviours that cause it, as well as encouraging healthy behaviours (such starting meaningful relationships) that help the person refrain from using, are priorities in the treatment of drug use disorders.


Group and individual therapy

While any form of treatment for drug abuse is better than none, group therapy is frequently preferred to individual therapy. In group therapy, you are more likely to encounter obstacles and receive encouragement from those who are also receiving treatment.

Additionally, 12-step organisations like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous include peer support groups. They might play a key role in your recovery strategy. Be aware that they are not the same as group therapy and are not led by a licenced psychotherapist.

If you suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, or another major mental health condition that requires treatment separate from your drug use problems, individual therapy may be of assistance.


Residential treatment versus outpatient care

You are removed from the environment and conditions that contribute to your drug usage throughout residential therapy. You will spend a few weeks to many months at a specialised facility. While you're there, you'll learn new routines or abilities for a sober lifestyle.

While there is evidence that this strategy helps you stay drug-free longer than outpatient courses, which you will attend for a few hours to several hours each day while living somewhere else, it does function effectively in the short term.

With the aid of an addiction counsellor, you can investigate the reasons behind your drug or alcohol use, share and process your emotions, become more aware of your negative thought and behaviour patterns, learn healthy coping mechanisms, spot potential triggers, and develop a long-term strategy to maintain your sobriety. Addiction therapy, which can be practised individually or in groups, is a major component of both inpatient and outpatient treatment courses.


The duties of an addiction counsellor include:

  • Conduct general evaluations and drug abuse tests.

  • A therapy approach should include impartial emotional support for the patients.

  • There should be psychoeducation available.

  • Exercises in group dynamics and process groups ought to be enabled.

  • Regularly administer tests for alcohol and drugs.

  • Make a treatment strategy that is customised to your needs and objectives.

  • help you create an aftercare strategy based on the options offered in your area.

Group therapy sessions are also led by drug rehabilitation counsellors or addiction counsellors, and they usually include family members or other patients receiving addiction treatment.

Discussions regarding family dynamics and how dysfunctional relationships can cause or feed addiction might occur in group therapy. After these dysfunctions have been identified, the patient can start making important post-treatment plans.

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