In This Article
In This Article
Nearly 21 million people in the U.S. alone struggle with addictions. Sadly, only approximately 10% of them receive any kind of treatment. Substance abuse destroys families, marriages, and careers. It ruins people’s health and causes a bill in excess of $600 billion to the U.S. economy every year. As the issue starts getting out of hand, it is better to seek substance abuse counseling to get help with physical and mental health issues.
Substance abuse means using substances such as drugs and alcohol in a harmful way for mood-altering purposes. Although some people think that these substances must be illegal, this is not the case at all, since prescription drugs and even cigarettes are considered mood-changing substances.
Substance abuse vs substance addiction
Many people use the term substance abuse and substance addiction interchangeably, but addiction is much more severe than abuse. A person who abuses drugs or alcohol still has some control over their lives, whereas an addict has substances that control every area of his or her life.
Addiction is a mental disorder that makes a person continue abusing drugs or alcohol despite being aware of the harmful consequences that they have on his or her life.
Based on various studies, it has been found that:
Take a look at this alarming infographic to get a better understanding of the present situation:
Before we delve into the types of therapy, let’s understand at first - what is substance abuse counseling?
It aims to help people recover fully by modifying their behavior. Treatment mapping is a part of it.
The counselor can take individual sessions and also provide family substance abuse counseling, if need be. If there are legal issues, the counselor may track progress and report it to a judge. They can also help individuals manage their careers or find a job.
There are several substance abuse counseling techniques that can be availed to recover from this condition. A few effective ones are mentioned below:
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
MI was originally developed to help people to stop smoking cigarettes and has since been used successfully as a substance abuse counseling intervention in general. With the help of a therapist, MI has the addict develop a recovery program that they can then use on their own.
MI gives a person a sense of control and power. In MI, the client is made to trust their abilities to remain abstinent and while also working against feelings of resentment and ambivalence toward the idea of receiving treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is used to change a person’s maladaptive behaviors by changing their faulty beliefs and negative thoughts. It helps an addict to identify risky situations and shows them how to deal with them. As part of substance abuse counseling, CBT gives clients lots of homework and teaches them skills that they can use long after the therapy is over.
CBT has been shown to be a highly effective method of treating various co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder in people with substance abuse disorder.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT focuses on teaching clients many skills, such as the ability to manage emotions like anger or depression. It also helps people reduce their cravings and teaches them healthy coping skills.
DBT is a highly time-consuming form of therapy because it includes individual therapy together with skill training that takes place in groups. In addition, a client is expected to call his or her substance abuse therapist when he or she needs help urgently.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR was originally developed to help people deal with traumatizing events and memories commonly seen in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During this therapy, a client moves his eyes left to right and back by following some kind of guide.
This can be a light moving on a screen or the fingers of a therapist. The clients do this while recalling a painful memory. The substance abuse therapist’s job is to ask questions that help the client to process his or her painful memories.
This therapy is effective for a person suffering from substance abuse because many addicts have plenty of painful memories about incidents where they hurt their loved ones or their careers through their addiction. Usually, only a few sessions are needed to reduce the pain associated with these memories.
12-Step facilitation therapy uses the support of a group to promote continued abstinence. People commonly attend these meetings for substance abuse counseling even daily at the beginning of their recovery and later reduce the frequency of meetings.
Everyone is given a sponsor, a person who is further along in their recovery, to help them avoid relapsing. 12-step meetings for substance abuse group counseling are held in person and online all around the world.
Treating addictions is a complicated process because it has to address so many things. It typically starts with taking care of physical side effects such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but the treatment should never stop there.
A substance abuse problem is always caused by both genetics and environmental reasons. Some people are genetically predisposed to develop addictions.
In addition, certain traumatizing life events such as divorce, the death of a loved one, or losing a job puts a person at risk for developing an addiction. If substance abuse therapy only focuses on detoxing a person, it has achieved nothing because the underlying reasons why a person developed an addiction are still present.
There are many different ways to receive treatment for substance abuse today. One can choose to get help from a private substance abuse therapist or attend group counseling for substance abuse. Some people prefer to get substance abuse online counseling.
One can also choose to enroll in inpatient residential substance abuse programs or outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation programs.
The main purpose of all of substance abuse counseling programs is to treat the underlying causes and to keep a person from relapsing.
All treatment plans for substance abuse counseling must also treat possible co-occurring mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. This is important because about 20 percent of people that are diagnosed with these disorders also struggle with substance abuse, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Therapy typically starts with a more intense period where a client is made to attend both individual substance abuse counseling and group substance abuse counseling several times per week.
However, as the need for treatment decreases over time, the frequency of these therapy sessions is reduced. Yet, many people believe that one is never cured of addiction and should never cease all treatment.
The family of an addict also likely needs help because they often enabled addiction and may suffer from co-dependency issues.
Oftentimes the spouse or parents of an addict attends therapy either alone or with the addict to help them prevent the recovering addict from falling back to their old ways.
Help for substance abuse counseling and therapy can be availed easily. For this, you can either ask for recommendations from friends to find a licensed counselor or therapist in your area or search online using terms such as “substance abuse counseling near me”, “substance abuse counseling school”.
If a good counselor is not available in your area, you can even opt for online substance abuse counseling outpatient programs.
You should also be aware of the ethics in substance abuse counseling while availing the services of a counselor.
If you have health insurance, it will likely cover at least a part of your treatment. One session with a substance abuse therapist typically costs between 60 to 100 USD if you have to pay out of pocket.
The cost of attending a residential rehab program is significantly higher. This is especially true since most insurance companies don’t pay for such treatments. You can expect to pay between 7,500 and 10,000 USD for such treatment.
This is the reason many people choose to attend an outpatient program instead. Outpatient programs are much cheaper, costing an average of $1,400. There are free services available as well, but they typically have long waiting lists.