If you, or someone you know, needs drug and alcohol counselling, it can be difficult to know where to start. Drug and alcohol issues are a serious problem that requires a delicate and thought out approach. This can make the number of available treatment options somewhat overwhelming.
However, getting help for drug and alcohol issues, as overwhelming as it can be, is still urgently important. That is why we’ve put together this guide on drug and alcohol counselling. That way, you know whether or not drug and alcohol counselling is right for you (and what to expect if it is).
Drug and alcohol addiction (both of which fall under substance abuse), refers to the dependent relationship a person has with these addictive substances.
People use drugs and alcohol in order to harness their mind-altering properties for a wide number of reasons, including:
To have fun
To dull emotions
To lessen physical pain
Drugs and alcohol are addictive, meaning that a person needs to consume higher quantities of drugs or alcohol in order to experience their effects at the same potency. Additionally, addictive substances cause cravings and, if not used for an extended period of time, withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can include:
Because of withdrawal symptoms, it is both extremely difficult and dangerous to stop using substances abruptly. It is always best to consult with a medical professional in order to overcome your addiction in a safe manner.
There are numerous signs that either you, or someone you know, exhibits when experiencing drug and alcohol addiction. These signs include:
Difficulty meeting responsibilities
Withdrawing from, or not finding enjoyment in activities that used to provide satisfaction (i.e. work, family, hobbies, sport, socialising)
Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviour (i.e. drink driving, unprotected sex, using dirty needles)
Behavioural changes, such as an increase in aggression
Conflicting with/alienating loved ones
Experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia or psychosis
Experiencing intense cravings, as well as withdrawal symptoms when those cravings are not indulged
Finding an inability to reduce or stop using the addictive substance
Drug and alcohol counselling operates like any other form of counselling, in which you consult a professional (either face-to-face, over video also known as telehealth, or via text chat) who can listen to your problems and help you develop healthy coping strategies for them.
The first session is when you and your counsellor discuss what you want from counselling and decide on some objectives. You will then work together in the following sessions to achieve those objectives and focus on the areas you wish to address.
Drug and alcohol counselling provides evidence-based therapeutic individual, group, and family counselling interventions to support positive behavioural change in people. Recovery-oriented care is provided in collaboration with clients and their families.
The idea is that you and your loved ones are provided with long term strategies to help deal with addiction as a cohesive unit.
If you are still unsure whether or not you require drug and alcohol counselling, it is important to consider the following:
The substances that you consume
Whether you exhibit any of the signs of addiction
Any symptoms of withdrawal you may be experiencing
When choosing psychologists or counsellors pay attention to the following:
Main areas of interest and experience
How much you are willing to spend for a psychologist or counsellors
At Talked, we are passionate about making mental health support accessible to everybody. We aim to provide you with the tools you need to connect with qualified psychologists and counsellors easily and quickly.
It is important that you assess different options to find a professional that suits your individual goals, regardless of whether you’re looking for counsellors or psychologists.
All the psychologists and therapists on Talked are qualified, professionally trained and verified.
Get help with your substance or alcohol use and book a FREE online therapy session with one of our top rated therapists