Addiction is one of the most misunderstood diseases that plagues mankind. People are mostly of the opinion that an addict chooses to be an addict by consuming massive quantities of a substance like prescription drugs, alcohol, or street drugs.
If this was the case then drug addicts could simply choose to stop using and the addiction cycle would be broken by sheer will power alone.
Addiction to drugs, alcohol, and anything else is caused by a problem in the brain of the user. Addiction counselling could help recover.
When the Addiction Starts
When a person first uses a drug or takes their first drink of alcohol it is done by choice. They may want to feel the euphoria of the high that can be caused by the drug, or they may be trying to escape a physical or mental pain. The first use is a choice, from that point forward reactions by the reward circuit of their brain begins to make the person want, crave, or need more of the substance.
When the brain produces dopamine in the reward circuit then it reinforces the persons desire to use the drug again. As the person continues to use the drug the brain becomes accustomed to having a certain amount of the drug and dopamine present so the individual has to increase the frequency and dosage of the drug in order to feel the high or pleasurable response they desire.
In order to stop the cycle of drug use the individual must address the thing that first started them to use, and what is keeping them using. It is very difficult to look at oneself and do a realistic evaluation of behaviours, attitudes, and stressors that cause you to act one way or another.
In order to truly get to the root of the substance abuse problem the individual needs addiction counselling. The recovery program the individual uses and the support of family and friends help the person admit they have a problem, and find the desire to want to stop the abuse, but the addiction counselling helps them to see the problem for what it really is.
What does Addiction Counselling do?
Addiction counselling opens up a line of communication between the person with the habit and someone trained to help them overcome their want and need for the substance they frequently abuse.
The counsellor listens closely to the addict so they can learn what motivates and drives the individual. The counsellor wants to know as much as possible about the person so they can help the individual develop a life plan that does not include using drugs or alcohol to cope.
Counselling Identifies the Problem
It is easy to say that drug addiction is the problem but in truth drug addiction is the symptom of the problem.
When the person first began to use the drug, they had a reason. They were seeking pleasure or they were trying to escape a pain.
If they were seeking pleasure then the addiction counselling helps them to identify that, and to figure out why they sought pleasure in the drug. They examine their motives and the counsellor tries to help the person identify other ways to find the pleasure rewards they seek.
If they first used to escape a pain then the counsellor helps them identify the root cause of the pain. The pain can be mental of physical and it often stems from neglect or abuse. The counsellor helps the person to recognize what caused the pain and find a solution to the pain other than the drug use.
They help people get out of abusive relationships, find security and confidence in themselves, and become reliant on their own abilities.
Addiction Counselling Encourages Recovery Habits
Recovering from drug addiction is not as simple as stopping the use. Most people think that if a drug addict stops using the drug, goes through a period of withdrawal, and stays clean for a month or so that they are cured.
Recovering from drugs is a lifelong process that the addict must take one day at a time. They quit using but using the drug was a habit so they have to replace that habit with other healthy habits if they are going to be able to break the abuse cycle.
Addiction counselling helps the individual to find other things to do if the pain or desire to use the drug resurfaces.
The counsellors encourage the user to find support in friends, support groups, family, church and other groups. The counsellor wants to arm the addict with as many possible connections to humans that want to see them succeed as possible.
Addiction counselling involves the family
When someone is addicted to drugs the addiction does not just change their lives, it changes the lives of their families. Addiction counselling focuses on the families and what they need to do to help support the addict in their recovery, and recover themselves from the pain and trauma they have been through.
Often family members will be angry and will not know how to address the recovering addict properly. The family stress and anger can actually inhibit the recovery and create another reason for the addict to turn back to the drug rather than face the sober life and hard truths of life.
Counsellors help families learn to talk to each other, learn to talk to the addict, and learn what not to say. They teach families how to cope with the stress and how to stop being an enabler for the addiction.
Addiction Counsellors Help Develop Life Goals
The addict that is successful at staying clean and sober for the rest of their lives are the ones who have a plan for their lives. They need goals they can work towards. The counsellors help people identify their needs, wants and desires and then establish a plan that will help them get those items into their lives.
Addiction counselling helps to prepare the addict to face life and live their best life.