The Importance of Counseling in Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment has come a long way. In the past, Methadone and abstinence were the only treatment options. While these are still options, medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine has become the preferred method. It helps with the cravings associated with addiction, while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. And the newer medications are much safer than Methadone.

Medication can reduce cravings and withdrawal, but recovering from an addiction does require more than just medication. A successful treatment plan is comprehensive, including counseling. Individual or group counseling is a very important part of the recovery process.

You can clear the poisons from your body through detoxification, but that alone is not enough. If you do not clean up the poisonous thinking patterns in your life, you run a big risk of a relapse.

Addiction affects every part of life, including your relationships with friends and family, your job, your health, and your mind. The success of your treatment depends on developing healthy ways of living and handling stressful situations.

Counseling can help you:

· Decrease Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

· Develop Skills that Teach you to Cope with life in Positive Ways

· Rebuild Relationships

· Repair Finances

· Get a Job

· Assume Family Responsibilities

There are many places that offer counseling. The type of counseling and level of care that you need depends on things like your age, drug use history, and other pre-existing psychiatric conditions. In addition to licensed counselors and psychologists, some religious leaders such as ministers offer addiction treatment counseling. Social workers can be another good resource for addiction counseling. Many of these services are offered free of charge or will be covered by your health insurance.

comforting a loved one

It is important to find a counselor that is skilled in treating patients that use medications in their treatment. Some counselors still reject the science behind addiction medicine believing only in abstinence programs. As such they may not provide the best care for an individual who is using medication to treat their addiction. You will want to find a counselor with a modern, evidence-based philosophy of addiction treatment.

Recovery is not a journey you need to take alone. A combination of medication for your physical recovery and counseling for your mental and emotional recovery will set you up for more complete healing in the end. And you will have a much better chance for longterm success.

About the Author

Paula Nicola, M.D.
Dr. Nicola is the Facility Director at Renu. She is a trained and board certified medical doctor with specialized training in addiction medicine.

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