The Role of the Substance Abuse Counselor

There are few experiences more difficult or heartbreaking than watching someone you love struggle with addiction. When someone you love is being controlled by their addiction you’re often left feeling helpless and powerless. Despite recurring attempts to find and consume alcohol, those with alcohol use disorder might also go through periods over which they attempt to reduce or give up alcohol. It’s common for people to know they want to quit but be overcome by their addiction and find they’re unable to stop drinking.

Telling them that one drink “doesn’t count” for instance, will only enable their behavior. But you should do your best as their friend or loved one to show that you support them and their recovery. It’s also important to manage expectations for yourself and other family members. Families in early recovery may make mistakes, and they may not be their ideal selves, but they can still enjoy their time together and actively support one another. Even if things aren’t “perfect,” they can still be more meaningful as you work together toward a drug-free life. When a person enters addiction treatment and the family embarks on the recovery journey, the sense of hope everyone feels can be exciting.

How do you find a treatment program to offer at the intervention?

Instead, it’s more about the reasons why people turn to drugs in the first place and the consequences of their abuse. For example, if drug use is causing problems in your life, such as losing a job or strained relationships, you likely have a problem with drug abuse. Whether it’s a close friend or family member, helping someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction is often a long and heartbreaking journey.

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Family therapy is an important part of an effective addiction recovery plan. Addiction therapy that uses CBT focuses on helping people understand how their beliefs and feelings influence their behaviors. It works by helping people change the thought and behavior patterns that contribute to substance use. If you have a friend or relative who is living with addiction, you might be wondering how you can help. To be clear, it’s not always easy to make the decision to provide help with substance use or another type of addiction. However, your loved one will often have a greater chance of overcoming their challenges with your support.

Know that you can give recovery support without enabling addiction

This will likely be the first of many conversations you’ll need to have regarding your loved one’s drug use. It may take several conversations for them to even acknowledge they have a problem, the first step on the road to recovery. support for those who struggling with alcohol addiction Whatever your loved one’s reason for starting, though, not everyone who uses drugs develops a problem. While the exact causes of addiction aren’t clear, genetics likely plays a role, along with environmental factors.

Codependency may be an issue in a relationship that involves addiction, and someone can seek support for this issue. A person can also help someone recognize or acknowledge addiction by talking with them. Additionally, health professionals need to assess and modify an individual’s treatment plan to meet their changing needs. As the former South Carolina governor and secretary to the United Nations, Nikki Haley is no stranger to debate.

Avoid Relapse

Healthcare providers can be very supportive and helpful while navigating these challenges. For example, a person who is trying to quit smoking would start by deciding whether they are going to stop smoking cold turkey or gradually reduce their nicotine use. To communicate with a loved one who is living with addiction, start by educating yourself, being aware of the language you use, and setting healthy boundaries.

There are a number of treatment options that can effectively treat addiction. Encourage your friend or loved one to talk to their doctor about using treatment programs, online therapy, or support groups as part of their recovery. Your enabling behaviors toward the addict may be helping to keep you busy and to fill up your life so that you don’t have to see how lonely and empty you are feeling inside.

Instead, the counselor’s responsibility is to help patients recognize their problematic behaviors, guide them into recovery, and empower them to take action and change these behaviors. Although change is ultimately in the hands of the patient, counselors can adapt their style to help enhance their clients’ motivation throughout each stage of recovery. The counselor’s role goes far beyond simply listening, teaching and offering advice. While it can be frustrating, remember that the decision to change is theirs. A person with an addiction is much more likely to be open to thinking about change if you communicate honestly, and without being threatening.

Continue supporting their participation in ongoing care, meetings and participate in support groups for families of addicts. Be the support system that they need, and show them that you’ll be there every step of the way. Addiction is complex, and it’s okay if you don’t know everything right away. However, taking the time to understand your loved one’s disease and how it affects them is incredibly beneficial to both you and your loved one.

You can then apply what you learned from the first time you quit or cut down to be more successful next time. You can also talk to a doctor about medications that can help you cope with the symptoms of withdrawal. Medications can sometimes be helpful in both the short term and the long term. Talk to a doctor about the options that are available to and appropriate for you. This often means getting rid of paraphernalia or other items that might trigger your desire to use a substance or engage in a harmful behavior. You may also find it necessary to change your routine so that you have less contact with people or settings that trigger cravings.

  • Substance use disorders affect biological functioning, dominating the brain’s reward system, affecting emotional regulation, motivation, impulse control, and pleasure-seeking behaviors.
  • Still, others discover new sides to themselves during the quitting process (a greater capacity for compassion, for example).
  • They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.
  • The chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing is often part of the quitting process.
  • This can be especially true when dealing with teens or young people.

Family members who are informed about addiction recovery can help keep their loved ones accountable and greatly increase their chances of success. Substance abuse counselors can help families understand the complex road to recovery, and offer support for the difficult journey ahead. Support from family members and friends can be an integral part of a successful recovery. Contact us today if you have questions about family resources, the recovery process or personalized treatment options for addiction that could work well for your loved one. When an addiction develops, family members and friends are also often directly impacted by the addiction. This helps you provide the love and support the addicted person needs in order to heal.

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