Substance Addiction Counseling

 Addiction steals lives. Counseling helps take them back. Compassionate therapy enables you to uncover and deal with the root causes of substance addiction. Through counseling, you’ll learn valuable coping skills to help you heal and thrive. Together, we’ll build a supportive relationship as you navigate challenges like withdrawal and cravings. Our goal is to empower you to break free from addiction’s grip so you can reclaim your health and purpose. There is hope. With evidence-based treatment, accountability, and hard work, lasting sobriety is yours.

Addiction Comes In Many Forms

The forms range from alcohol use, cannabis, opioids, hallucinogens, inhalants, methamphetamines, prescription drugs, and depressants to illicit drugs and even certain behaviors like gambling. These substances and behaviors have the potential to be addictive, thus requiring immediate action to prevent harm to your mental health.

How Does Substance Abuse Happen?

In most scenarios, substance addiction takes time to develop. Chemicals and ingredients within the substance alter your brain and how it feels pleasure. Because of this, overcoming an addiction is not as easy as just stopping the use of the drug, and in fact, quitting cold turkey can often cause health problems that are sometimes severe or even life-threatening. Substance addiction happens because of prolonged substance abuse, which can damage your physical and mental health.

It’s also important to remember that legal and illegal drugs can cause substance addiction. Cigarettes and alcohol use are the two most common legal substances to which you could develop an addiction, along with cravings that make it difficult to overcome on your own.

What Is The Difference Between Addiction And Dependency?

I often used both terms dependence and addiction when discussing substance abuse. That said, there are a few key differences between the two. We typically consider addiction a change in behavior because of changes in the brain after ongoing substance abuse. Some changes you may notice when you’re addicted:

  • Acting irrationally when you don’t have the substance in your system
  • General lack of interest or motivation
  • Sudden changes in mood, such as angry outbursts or mood swings

Dependence is a physical or mental shift in your body. It happens when your alcohol/drug abuse or behaviors, such as gambling, have been constant for an extended period in larger amounts. Dependence can cause addiction as your tolerance builds to substance use or compulsive behaviors. You’ll also find your body may go through withdrawals when you go too long without using them.

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is a term coined by the American Psychological Association in 2013 that encompasses addiction, abuse, and dependence. As of today, there are mild, moderate, and severe substance use disorders according to the American Psychological Association.  Prolonged substance abuse can lead to the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Sweating
  • Agitation

Substance Use Disorder Risk Factors

Adolescents and individuals from a background where their parents or other family members use substances can be very prone to developing this disorder. A substance abuse disorder develops when these same adolescents and adults experience stressful conditions or have access to drugs that might lead to misuse.

According to research, those with a family history of drug misuse are twice as likely to develop an addiction. Substance abuse is a genuine issue that may impact many generations of a family. These individuals are more likely to have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which complicate their addiction treatment.

Here are some other risk factors that may affect their situation:

  • Mental health disorders
  • Peer pressure
  • Poverty
  • Previous traumatic events such as physical or emotional abuse
  • Using a drug that is highly addictive

When To Seek Help?

The first step to recovery is acknowledging when you need help. You’ve made the right choice whether you arrived here alone or with someone you love. Once you cannot handle problems alone, counseling is the perfect next step. Counseling can help educate you on ways to solve your problems without turning back to drug or alcohol abuse.

Here are a few signs that it might be time for you to seek help:

  • Weight loss
  • Denial or defensive behavior when confronted about the addiction
  • Depression
  • More irritability
  • Absences from school, work, or social activities

Depending on the severity of the substance abuse, individuals may need to seek addiction treatment on top of counseling for detoxification purposes.  These programs offer individuals a safe place to heal and focus on rebuilding themselves.


Counseling for Substance Addiction

Those battling substance abuse may better understand their addiction and what the recovery process can entail with counseling.  Like a support group, counseling allows you to be open about your addiction and how it affects your life, family members, and other loved ones.  While counseling is not a fast cure, and you may relapse several times on your path to recovery, it is a tool that may help you better understand yourself and give direction on the next steps, including whether or not counseling is suitable for you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapies for Drug Addiction

Treatment of substance-related addictions with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is very effective.  A crucial part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to help people find links between their thoughts and feelings and their actions and educate them about how these things affect their recovery process.  One of the primary goals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to empower you to live without turning to a substance for happiness and comfort.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

While both types of treatment encompass some of the same techniques, like cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, inpatient treatment requires an individual to stay in a rehab facility or hospital. Outpatient treatment includes ongoing sessions during daytime hours, but you are not required to stay at the facility.

Outpatient treatment does not include monitoring outside sessions, making relapse more possible. Inpatient treatment removes outside distractions and substance access so that it can be a more efficient option. On the other hand, outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive care from a professional and then return home.

Inpatient treatment provides a better chance of recovery as individuals can remain in a safe and secure environment, away from any possible triggers that may lead to relapse. It may be more difficult for some to commit to inpatient treatment due to its structure and cost. Despite the difficulty of committing to inpatient treatment, it provides a much more secure and safe environment than outpatient treatment.


Free Consultation

Ready to start feeling better but not sure where to begin? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to explore if counseling is right for you. This is a casual, no-obligation session to discuss your specific situation and see if we’re a good fit. We’ll listen to understand where you’re at and how we may be able to help. You’ll get to ask any questions you have. No pressure, no commitments – just an open conversation to see if working together feels comfortable. A consultation is the perfect first step to gain clarity and start making positive changes. Reach out to set up a time – we look forward to meeting you!

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Getting help is your first step to starting over and improving your wellbeing.  Reach out today!

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