Addictions

Counseling is the centerpiece of addiction treatment for many people. As a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for over 10 years I have worked with adolescents and adults battling addictive behaviors. As one of the most stigmatized diseases out there, addiction requires individualized treatments that address the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease, as well as the consequences that substance use has on different areas of a person’s life. This includes their ability to socialize, their physical and mental health, and consequences at work, home, school, or even legal troubles.

Image by Jesse Gardner

A few examples of common addictions include:

  • drugs and alcohol

  • food addiction

  • gambling

  • shopping

  • pornography/sex/masturbation

Psychotherapy can help to identify the psychological and social factors that lead to “use” and assist you in identifying your triggers such as:

  • Stress, especially sudden life stresses

  • Cues in the environment, like visiting a neighborhood

  • Social networks, like spending time with friends who continue to use 

These things can create a strong ongoing urge to use again. Counseling helps you escape cravings and learn to manage what life throws at you without drugs or alcohol.

Several counseling therapies treat substance abuse. No one method is known to be better than another. Likewise, no one approach works for everyone. Each treatment plan is individualized to your needs.

Addiction is a complex disease that can affect many areas of a person’s life. In 2017, it was estimated that 20.7 million Americans needed treatment for substance use disorders; however, only 2.5 million received specialized substance use treatment.

Addiction requires individualized treatments that address the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease, as well as the consequences that substance use has on different areas of a person’s life. This includes their ability to socialize, their physical and mental health, and consequences at work, home, school, or with the law. There are many types of therapy available to effectively treat addiction.