Addiction occurs in many forms in everyday life although its most detrimental effects are experienced where drug and substance abuse is involved. Counseling is an essential tool which helps addicts along the road to recovery as well as enabling them stay clean even when physical dependence has passed. The US National Institute on Drug Abuse compares addiction relapse rates to those of chronic diseases including hypertension, asthma and diabetes. Therefore, the risk of former addicts relapsing is very high hence the immense importance of counseling in drug addiction recovery.
The two main techniques applied in addiction counseling include;
This assists addicts identify negative behavioral practices and eliminate or transform them into more acceptable behavior. An alcohol counselor for instance uses CBT to help an addict deal with any underlying problems which may be the cause of, or occur alongside addiction. After which the target audience is able to come up with measures to cope with these issues and recover from addiction.
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
This is another technique tailored towards assisting individuals with higher emotional instability. DBT basically helps those individuals understand how to cope with deep disturbing emotions, by helping them to endure and overcome them. This technique has gained widespread use especially by alcohol counselors although it has been mainly used to treat issues concerned especially with borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Counseling occurs in many forms throughout the recovery period all of which are geared towards helping not only the addict but also those around them affected by their addiction to recover from the many facets of addiction, including the emotions experienced therein. These emotions are experienced by both the addict and their loved ones, all of which are quite overwhelming. Counseling enables the affected individuals to overcome these feelings and live free of them.
Importance of counseling
Individuals feel more motivated towards their recovery. Drug and substance addicts, for instance alcohol addicts, generally refuse to enter into treatment due to the ambivalence they may feel towards alcohol. An alcohol counselor however, enables them to recognize the damage that the alcohol is causing their lives and the lives of their loved ones. This encourages them to take positive steps towards recovery.
They also obtain the necessary tools to stop their drug dependence and avoid relapsing. Counseling features such as CBT ensure one understands why they crave various substances and enables them cope not only with these cravings, but also with the emotions and triggers that may cause a relapse.
Re-establishing broken relationships by involving their loved ones also occurs. Previous experience has shown that individuals suffering from addiction can heal faster where those closest to them participate in counseling alongside them.
The importance of counseling therefore, cannot be understated in the addiction recovery process. Recovering addicts, aside from their own personal initiative and other addiction treatment procedures, require counseling as an integral part of their recovery. This enables them to stay clean after recovery and in the process become and maintain their levels as well-adjusted members of society