Addiction Counseling

Discover how to spot addiction symptoms. Learn about addiction counseling techniques, attending rehab and getting financial help for counseling.

Many individuals struggle with some form of addiction. Based on a study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are an estimated 25 million Americans currently struggling with a substance addiction. Every year, millions of patients seek emergency treatment due to health problems relating to your addiction. While there are some medications to help with addiction, there is no miracle cure which completely removes the addiction. In order to treat an addiction, you must get help and attend therapy sessions with an addiction counselor.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may need to attend a rehabilitation clinic. These clinics provide a safe environment where you can work with a trained counselor to overcome your addiction. There are two different types of rehab centers, inpatient and outpatient. If you select inpatient care, you live in the rehabilitation center for the duration of your therapy. With outpatient therapy, you still attend work and spend your evenings at home, while the rest of your time is spent in therapy sessions. Both treatments typically last between 30 and 90 days, with patients receiving continual therapy after their stay.

Signs of Addictions

There are many different therapy treatments for addiction, but in order to get treated, you must first admit you have an addiction. The biggest sign you suffer from an addiction is when you are over reliant on a substance or activity for happiness. If you are constantly stressed without this substance or activity in your life, you are addicted. Another sign of addiction is when you are so fixated on a substance or activity you are unable to focus on anything else in your life. Many addicts first realize they have a problem after looking at their finances and see all of their money is going towards a substance or activity, with some even falling deep into debt to support their habit.

With substance addiction, there are additional signs to look for. As your addiction grows, your body becomes more dependent on receiving drugs or alcohol. Without these substances, you start feeling depressed and may even become physically ill. Some substances have severe withdrawal symptoms, potentially causing fevers or seizures.

Addictions can also negatively affect your sleep schedule. When you aren’t feeding your addiction, you will feel lethargic, no matter how much rest you got before. Your cravings may also keep you awake at night, unable to relax and fall asleep because you want to fulfill your addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides additional symptoms to look for in children and teenagers.

Addiction Counseling Techniques

Addiction counselors have many different therapy techniques to choose from. Many counselors try multiple techniques with a patient to determine the best treatment method. No one technique is more effective than another. Every patient responds differently, based on both their addiction and lifestyle choices.

Most counselors start with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on identifying what triggers your addiction. Many patients associate stress relief with their addiction. CBT helps you figure out what is causing you the stress in the first place. By removing the stress from your life, you reduce your dependency on your addiction.

Contingency management (CM) is a treatment where you give yourself a reward for positive behavior. The goal is to replace your addiction with a healthier alternative. Many counselors also use CM for patients who are struggling to attend therapy sessions, giving them an incentive to continue their treatment. This is often combined with motivational interviewing (MI). MI focuses on providing positive feedback to reduce your overall stress. This also helps provide a sense of control and show you can be successful and overcome stress without your addiction.

As therapy continues, counselors often use rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). REBT helps you recognize what effect your addiction has not only on yourself, but everyone in your life. REBT is frequently used in group therapy, either with other patients or your friends or family members. REBT is emotional, but a necessary step in recognizing how severe your addiction is, providing motivation not to relapse.

Attend Rehabilitation

For many patients, one of the challenges of overcoming addiction is relapsing after a successful counseling session. Rehabilitation clinics eliminate this risk by keeping you in a safe facility after your counseling. Rehabilitation counseling uses the same counseling methods, but by staying in the facility, you are exposed to less stress and have a better chance to recover. The physical locations are designed with a resort feel, encouraging comfort and relaxation between sessions. You also have access to counselors on site if you feel yourself slipping, allowing you to get immediate assistance instead of having to wait for your next session.

Addiction Counseling Costs

Both counseling and rehabilitation are expensive. The majority of patients use their insurance to help with costs. If your insurance covers addiction counseling, you must look for a counselor or service accepted within your health network. Otherwise, you must pay for the costs out of pocket. If you do not have insurance or are unable to afford addiction counseling services, you can contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to find free or reduced cost care in your area.