Substance abuse counselors diagnose and assess addiction problems in a variety of ways. Because every client is an individual and is struggling with addiction in different ways, substance abuse counselors customize treatment plans for each client. We believe that there are a wide variety of complex issues to consider when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. Therapists may meet regularly with clients as they recover, or work intensely with individuals in crisis to assess whether or not the client will require a higher level of care. For many, decreased use and harm/risk reduction are worthy goals. We also realize that true and lasting change occurs in stages. Each individual situation needs to be carefully reviewed by a skilled professional before concluding what course of action is appropriate. When treatment is needed, one-to-one counseling can play a vital role at different points in the process of regaining a sober life.
Addiction Treatment to reduce substance abuse commonly consists of a combination of group and
individual therapy sessions that focus on teaching those in recovery the skills needed to get and stay
sober, as well as how to navigate various situations without turning to drugs or alcohol. Behavioral
therapy is perhaps the most commonly utilized type of treatment for addiction that is frequently used
during substance rehabilitation. A general behavioral therapeutic approach has been adapted into a
variety of effective techniques. These include but are not limited to:
Patients may partake in therapy guided by a therapist in a 1 on 1 format, with a group in a safe, peer-supported atmosphere, and/or with participation from family or anyone significant in the patient’s life.
CBT encourages clients to question and examine recurring thoughts in order to phase out those that are negative and unhealthy. CBT can be applied in the treatment of many different types of problematic substance use. People treated with CBT techniques learn to recognize and change their maladaptive behaviors. CBT can help people with coping skills, with identifying risky situations and what to do about them, and with preventing relapse. This approach is helpful because it can be paired with other techniques. The skills learned through CBT continue to be of benefit long after the initial therapy, and it can be used to treat co-occurring mental or physical health disorders as well.
CM may also be effective in treating several types of substance use disorder—for example, alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and stimulants—and is used to encourage or reinforce sobriety. This drug addiction treatment method provides material rewards as motivation for desirable behaviors, such as maintaining sobriety. A major benefit of CM is that it can result in a reduction in the two of the biggest treatment-related issues: dropping out and relapse.
MI is a drug addiction treatment method of resolving ambivalence in recovering individuals to allow them to embrace their treatment efforts to best change their problematic substance use behavior. The purpose is to strengthen the client’s own motivation for, and commitment to change in a manner that is consistent with the client’s values. Therefore, rather than imposing or forcing particular changes, we “meet the client where the client is” and help them move toward their goals by drawing out and building their readiness to change. One benefit of MI is that, despite being facilitated by a therapist, those in recovery develop their own motivation and a plan for change over the course of several sessions, which can provide them with more of a sense of control over the course of their treatment.
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