Substance abuse counseling and what really goes on behind the scenes in therapy. Many get the idea that when seeking help for themselves or a loved one, the focus of therapy is strictly substance abuse and talk is about prevention, educational awareness of drugs, relapse prevention and implementing ways in which one can stop using.
Although these are important elements of therapy, this is not however the main focus. People seek substance abuse counseling in Orlando for various reasons. Clients will seek help when threatened by parents to attend, others are self motivated. Some clients call to make an appointment to get the court off their back. Whatever the reason, I believe the drug use is secondary to the major issues lying underneath. These issues must be brought to light in order for the client and loved ones to see how a maladaptive or negative system is in play. Until this is done, there is little to no chance that the person abusing drugs will change.
The following are just a few of the many reasons I see clients seeking help for substance abuse therapy and counseling:
People seek relief from their problems by numbing out and use various methods to do so. Substance and drug use is serious, progressive, and if left untreated becomes terminal. The American Medical Association (AMA) was declaring alcoholism as an illness back in 1956. In 1991, The AMA then endorsed dual classification of alcoholism by the standards of the International Classification of Diseases which fell under psychiatric conditions and medical ones as well.
Much like cancer or diabetes, and heart disease, addiction stems from a combination of behavioral, biological and environmental factors. Genetic factors do account for close to half of the chance and likelihood that a person will develop an addiction.
Addiction relates directly to the changes in a persons brain and body functioning. They have lost the ability of choice to use or not. Full blown addiction become an everyday cycle of turmoil, pain, depression and a spiraling downward circle.
Many depending on the stage of addiction and severity if left untreated need immediate medical help. Addiction and use left untreated, over a period of time will become more severe and disabling. Individuals find themselves in a rotating door of inpatient treatment. With increased problems including daily functioning, legal and financial problems and much more. The continued use will rob someone of their life.
My main focus as a substance abuse counselor is first to assess the severity of the clients drug use. I can determine if the client may or may not need a higher level of care or treatment. If the client is seeing an increase in his consumption of drugs or alcohol early therapy and intervention can be enough. The individual can get back on track.
My approach is a less clinical one. As your therapist, I seek to meet with my clients and set aside the addiction education talk. It’s important to get to know the person not the addiction. I am not interested in heavy labels. Together we will understand what you are numbing out from. You will change the conditioning and negative thoughts associated. This change can be enough for you to no longer see a need to numb out or use substances. Cognitive behavioral and narrative therapy work well with clients seeking help with drug use.
Understanding the story you are telling yourself helps bring awareness to the void. The feeling of lack that resides deep inside. With the clients permission I ask that family members directly involved participate. Most times with adolescents, family therapy is a must. Parents think they are helping their teen. Education and awareness needs to taught to the entire system. Codependency and enabling create a hostile and dangerous environment. This leads to placing the client as the identified patient. This term is associated with a role that the client wears or takes on. The family members coin this individual as the one who is “in need of rescuing.”
Let’s start the process of healing the underlying issues driving the fear and anxiety. Individual counseling will help you to see why you are finding it necessary to numb out will decrease. You will have a new outlook on life and drug use will no longer have a place or need. Start the healing today. Seek help for substance abuse counseling today.