The Road to Sobriety: Counseling for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Are you suffering from drug or alcohol addiction? Often, it can feel like you're alone and without hope. Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to combat addiction and get on the road to recovery, one of which is counseling with a licensed therapist of psychiatrist, preferably one who specializes in issues pertaining to substance abuse and addiction. Below are some helpful tips to get the most out of your counseling; following these will maximize your chances at becoming clean and sober, preventing future health problems and restoring your quality of life. 

Find a Therapist You Can Trust

For successful counseling, it's vital that you have a good working relationship with your therapist; this is especially important for addicts, who often feel more comfortable living double lives and keeping their addiction secret in all of their other relationships. If you don't feel comfortable with your therapist, don't feel bad about searching for a different one. Remember that you are receiving treatment solely for your own benefit, and it's important to you to become sober and fully recover.

Be Honest About Your Drug or Alcohol Use

Part of the importance of finding a therapist you can trust is that you will be able to fully disclose all of your drug and alcohol use, including any relapses that you may have in the course of treatment. You should never feel the temptation to lie to your therapist about your past drug or alcohol use in order to make yourself look better or to downplay the severity of your addiction. Your therapist needs this information to create a recovery plan perfectly tailored to your needs, and they will need to be informed if you relapse during the course of counseling. This helps you and your therapist discover the circumstances that led up to your relapse and develop tools for avoiding it in the future.

Open Up About Any Other Issues in the Course of Counseling

Many addicts have a dual diagnosis; that is, in addition to addiction to drugs and alcohol, they also suffer from another condition such as depression, general anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. In many cases, the addiction is a symptom of another underlying mental condition that can be treated effectively by counseling. These deeper issues often come to the surface in the course of becoming sober; don't be afraid to inform your therapist about them because treating both the drug or alcohol addiction issues and the underlying causes is important to making a full recovery.

Consider Complementary Sources of Help

You should work with your therapist to determine if attending group support meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or SMART, would be beneficial to your recovery. Often addicts suffer alone in isolation and feel that no-one around them understands what they are going through. A community of recovering addicts who have lived that experience is often very healing.

Counseling for drug or alcohol addiction is a very effective tool for recovery, but finding a therapist whom you can develop a trusting relationship with is of paramount importance. You'll also need to put in some effort yourself in opening up to your therapist and keeping him or her informed of any relapses or changes in mood during the course of treatment. These two factors work together to give you the greatest chance of success in escaping the bondage of addiction. For more information, talk to counselor like those at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.