Giving up substance use is never easy because addictions run deeper than most illnesses and viruses. They spread their roots throughout the brain and body, controlling organ functioning, stimulating neurotransmitters, and triggering chemical unbalance. Addiction specialists typically treat substance abuse problems with a combination of pharmaceutical interventions and counseling.
Counseling is a crucial element of the healing process, and therapists deploy various therapies, including behavioral and cognitive approaches. It is just as effective as medications, as it focuses on ushering lifestyle and mindset shifts to boost chances of recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective addiction counseling approach that addresses behaviors encouraging substance use.
Keep reading to explore how counseling can help you address and eliminate substance abuse problems.
Understanding Triggers & Developing Coping Strategies
Many experts regard substance abuse as a form of escapism to escape the pain of underlying emotional issues. Most people turn to substance use and alcohol to drown the noise of emotional trauma, stress, depression, and other triggers. Some struggle with the memories of traumatic experiences, childhood abuse or neglect, chronic depression, and domestic or physical violence.
Many others turn to heavy drinking or substance use to cope with everyday stress, financial anxiety, and troubling life experiences. Our environment, friends and peers, home environment, and childhood experiences also contribute to the triggers that encourage substance use.
At times, messages from an abusive former partner can compel you to fix a drink or indulge in drugs. Or perhaps, you find it hard to control the urge around the time of your parent’s or spouse’s death anniversary. Experts treating substance abuse at the Delphi Health Group emphasize the need to identify triggers and develop coping strategies to recover.
Once we identify the triggers, we realize factors that encourage substance use and systematically remove them to prevent a relapse. Counselors work closely with their clients to understand the underlying issues that cause and sustain substance abuse problems. Counseling is an effective therapeutic intervention to resolve emotional trauma and break generational cycles to recoup your life.
Counseling can help you reclaim your true self, hidden beneath layers of substance abuse, trauma, childhood neglect, and adverse life experiences.
Mindsets develop over years of learning beliefs, developing values, and practicing habits that form our lifestyles and personalities. Changing an adult’s mindset isn’t an easy endeavor, and in most cases, our perspectives encourage unhealthy habits and patterns.
But in reality, the habits we consider rewarding or guilty pleasures constrict us within destructive and unhealthy patterns. Counseling helps facilitate a mindset transformation by helping us examine our lives, beliefs, values, and habits with a new perspective. This perspective shift helps us realize thought patterns, habits, behaviors, and situations that make us crave drugs.
A substance abuse counselor can help you embrace new perspectives and approaches to sustain a healthy lifestyle. In most cases, counselors work with cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients understand the destructive patterns of their habits and lifestyles.
Compassion, Support & Faith
Many people struggling with substance abuse disorders experience social abandonment after family and friends give up on their recovery. The struggle with addiction is multifaceted and highly complex, and most people don’t understand the challenges patients encounter while recovering. For family and friends, every relapse or return to old habits is a nail in the coffin of their relationship.
It’s pertinent to note that families and friends deal with numerous challenges caused by the substance abuse problems of the individual. Research reveals that families are affected by financial hardships, emotional distress, legal issues, and verbal and physical violence. People who suffer from substance abuse challenges neglect their relationships, often using family and friends to secure money for drugs.
After a long cycle of betrayal, emotional distress, lying, and cheating, patients often find themselves alone on the road to recovery. In such situations, counselors provide compassionate support, reassurances, and faith in their recovery. Counseling will eliminate that awful feeling of having no one to turn to when you want to celebrate milestones or discuss challenges.
Counseling will connect you with a licensed professional who truly cares about your progress and wellbeing and will commit to helping you.
Preventing a Relapse
Counselors help addicts and substance users achieve and maintain sobriety by shifting their lifestyles. Instead of indulging in substance use, you can connect with your counselor and discuss the emotional distress you’re experiencing. You may want to score some marijuana to lighten the pressure of an upcoming presentation at your new job. Or perhaps, seeing an abusive ex-partner walking around town after years has triggered you to visit the local bar.
Resolving trauma and eliminating triggers is the best way to prevent a relapse, and your counselor can help you immensely.
There are many reasons why counseling should be considered necessary for overcoming substance abuse problems. For example, it can help with stress relief and interpersonal conflicts that come from living in an environment where drugs or alcohol seem pervasive but don’t exist without them.
Counselors also have access to treatment options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches people how their thoughts affect what they do physically. Consider the counselor as a life coach committed to helping you embrace a healthier, rewarding, and success-driven lifestyle.
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