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Substance Abuse Counselor

Clinically Reviewed By Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Updated On

An estimate of 23.5 million people worldwide are affected by substance abuse problems, as of 2009. Out of this 23.5 million people, only 2.3 million people sought out treatment that year. Unfortunately, many continue a repetitive cycle of substance abuse as they feel there is no one to care for them and they can not go at it alone. The truth is you do not need to go at it alone, a substance abuse counselor will be there for you each step of your treatment and to support you throughout your recovery.

What is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance abuse counselors are professionals who specialize in the treatment and recovery of substance abusers. They work directly with people suffering from dependencies to illicit drugs, prescription medications, inhalants and alcohol. These individuals work in many different places, all to help those suffering from substance abuse problems, such as educational centers, hospitals, mental health facilities, methadone clinics, private practice clinics, detention centers, drug rehabilitation centers, and detox centers. They are certified in the state they are employed and experienced in helping people like yourself to overcome their substance abuse problem.

What Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Do?

A substance abuse counselor will work with you to overcome your substance abuse problem in a therapeutic setting.The counselors purpose is to find the root of your addiction and help you to progress into sobriety. He or she will develop an individualized treatment plan for you, based on your underlying cause of addiction and personal recovery needs. They will help you to work past your addiction through education and teaching you how to live life without your substance of choice as a crutch. The purpose of your substance abuse counselor is to help guide you into sobriety through counseling.

Treatment Provided by Substance Abuse Counselors

  • individual counseling
  • motivational interviewing
  • contingency management
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • family therapy
  • group counseling
How Does Substance Abuse Counseling Work?

When first meeting with your substance abuse counselor, he or she will discuss with you your addiction, as well as your past and what you see for your future. They will then attempt to get to know who you are and uncover what may have caused your substance abuse problem. Throughout your treatment, he or she will work with you to develop the most suitable way for you to lead you into a sober living lifestyle,each time you meet with your counselor there will be minor adjustments to your plan of recovery.

A substance abuse counselor will help you in identifying your addiction-related behavior patterns and help you confront your behavioral and emotional issues that may be holding you back in your recovery. You will find that some sessions will be easier than others, but with each session comes more progress and takes you a step closer to achieving your goal of lifelong sobriety.

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