Why Substance Abuse Counseling is a Critical Part of the Recovery Process

drug counseling in ct

Near 21 million people in the United States are currently battling a substance use disorder. According to recent research, however, only about 1 in 10 of these Americans will actually get the treatment they need. Of the 6.4 million adolescents and young adults needing addiction treatment – those who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder – less than two percent get help.

Substance abuse is prevalent across the United States, and it does not discriminate. Anyone, of any age or upbringing, can become addicted to drugs. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug problem, know that you are not alone. If you are afraid to seek out substance abuse counseling, because of the stigma it carries, know that you are not alone. Thousands of people – especially youth – do not seek treatment because they fear what others may think. Some do not seek treatment because they feel they do not need it. Others do not know where to go – or how to afford – substance abuse counseling.

There are many said barriers to addiction treatment, some of which may even have led you here. Right now, you may be wondering, “Do I really need substance abuse counseling?” or “Why is professional treatment such an emphasized part of recovery?” When you’re researching your treatment options, these are very important questions to ask. You want to know the value of seeking out help.

As a recognized young adult treatment center, Turnbridge understands the hesitations that often come with early recovery. Especially if you have already given rehab a go, but have since relapsed, you may be especially careful when determining your next steps. First, it is important to recognize that relapse does not indicate that you (or your treatment) has failed. Rather, it means that something in your plan needs to change. Something needs to be revised. Perhaps a longer-term, inpatient treatment center will be a better fit. Think about the reasons your last rehab may have not worked, and the reasons for which you used. Was it a relapse trigger – say a past party spot or old friend – that made it hard to say no? Were your cravings unbearable, and were you not able to manage them effectively? These are important factors to consider when thinking about what to look for in a substance abuse treatment program.

One of the most important things to look for in a treatment program is substance abuse counseling – dedicated time with dedicated professionals who will help you navigate the recovery journey. Quitting drugs is not easy. Addiction is a disease that physically alters the chemicals in your brain, telling you that you need drugs to function. It is hard to defeat that internal demon on your own, and that’s where a substance abuse counselor can help. This person is trained in the disease of addiction and can help you understand the root of your drug abuse. Substance abuse counseling plays a vital role in recovery, and has many benefits, which Turnbridge has outlined below:

  1. Substance abuse counseling will teach you how to cope with cravings and relapse triggers. In a drug treatment program, counselors will help you understand what triggers your drug abuse – compulsive cravings, negative emotions like anxiety, or even certain people in your life – and further use this information to then help you understand how to defeat them. Through comprehensive counseling sessions, you will develop new coping skills to fight off relapse triggers. You will also learn how to make healthy decisions and navigate the stresses that can arise post-recovery. Some examples of coping skills include meditation, mindfulness, journaling, exercise, 12-step meetings, and participation in support groups.
  2. Substance abuse counseling is offered in one-to-one sessions, tailored to your needs, as well as in group formats. There is great benefit to altering the type of substance abuse counseling you receive. One-to-one counseling, of course, is vital to your sober success. This is where you will meet regularly with a clinical counselor, who will then get to know you and your story – your drug of choice, your background, your personality, where you find happiness and where you find stress, and your unique needs in treatment. No addiction story is the same, and that is why rehab cannot be one-size-fits-all. Through one-to-one sessions, your counselor will help you create a treatment plan that works for you. Group counseling is also very beneficial, and something we integrate into the programs at Turnbridge. Group meetings allow clients to get to know peers of the same age and gender, and to relate to others who are in similar shoes. Group sessions help clients build sober, supportive friendships that last beyond recovery.
  3. Substance abuse counseling can also address any co-occurring mental health issues you might be facing. When a person is battling drug addiction, they are often battling some mental health issues or traumas as well. Some face depression and use drugs to escape bad feelings. Some use drugs to calm anxiety, or to manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some are facing bipolar disorder or an eating disorder, while others have faced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. When you go to an integrated dual diagnosis treatment center, your substance abuse counselor will help you work through any of those mental struggles, as well as your drug use.
  4. Your substance abuse counselor can help you set goals – and achieve them. In Turnbridge’s substance abuse counseling, clients are encouraged to envision their future by creating personal goals – going to college, getting a good job, making amends with family, attending 12-step meetings, staying sober for a certain number of years. These goals, no matter what they might be, give our clients something to work towards, and truly put meaning back into their lives.
  5. Substance abuse counseling enacts different types of behavioral therapies, which can lead to long-term success. Some substance abuse counselors utilize different, evidence-based therapy methods to help clients overcome drug addiction. One method you’ll encounter at Turnbridge is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In recent study, it was revealed that CBT for substance abuse improves a person’s ability to coordinate cognitive control, set goals, and stay on track – and therefore helps patients stay sober and maintain their recovery, despite relapse triggers.

There are many benefits to pursuing professional treatment and drug counseling – and most importantly, pursuing a program that works for you and with you. You deserve counselors who recognize your needs and who will help you stay committed and engaged in your recovery journey. That is what the clinical and support staff at Turnbridge both aim to do.

To start your path towards recovery, call Turnbridge at 877-581-1793 to learn more about our substance abuse counseling and treatment programs for young adults.