Monday, July 1, 2013

Just the Facts – Substance Abuse Counseling

A twofold process, substance-abuse counseling takes the patient through physical withdrawal before immersing them in psychological rehabilitation and therapy. This approach is commonly used with patients struggling with alcohol, street drug and prescription drug addiction


Substance abuse counseling is suitable for patients struggling with all levels and types of addiction. Substance abuse problems are often placed into two similar but separate levels: Substance abuse and substance dependence. Though both levels affect an addict’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis, they differ by way of the impact on the user’s mental, physical and emotional health.

A patient struggling with dependence to a substance has developed an emotional and physical need for the drug. Many experience withdrawal symptoms after only a short period of abstinence. Tolerance to the substance also plays a role in how much the individual must use in order to achieve the desired affect. 

Both abuse and dependence often result in health and legal issues. Friends and family may show concern and become frustrated with the on-going use. When an individual meets these criteria, counseling is often recommended. 


Counseling for substance abuse commonly occurs in one of three ways: group counseling, outpatient counseling and inpatient counseling.  Group and outpatient counseling offer patients the ability to attend therapy sessions and return to normal life. The inpatient format requires patients to reside at the designated facility throughout treatment. 


People take drugs for an array of reasons, including pain relief, recreation and escape. Substance abuse counseling explores the reasoning behind use to an effort to help them develop alternative means to cope. Patients are typically asked to share their feelings surrounding substance abuse, while being offered guidance and support. Group counseling provides addicts with the ability to relate to others with similar experiences, while building support and camaraderie along the way.  

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