Drug Addiction Counseling

Drug Addiction Counseling


One of the strategies that might be beneficial to a newcomer in recovery from addiction is drug addiction counseling.  There are a few misconceptions about this as a strategy for staying clean so let us take a closer look here.

First of all, realize that addiction counseling is not a primary recovery strategy for most people.  In other words, it is generally not going to be enough to keep someone clean and sober all in itself.  More action is usually required in order to stay clean and sober, especially early in the game.  For example, going to inpatient rehab, attending 12 step meetings, working with a sponsor in recovery, and other actions like this are generally necessary for a person to see short term success in recovery.  If all a person does is attempt to stop using drugs and they attend counseling once a week, this is not normally going to be enough action to make a real difference.

On the other hand, if an addict or alcoholic is highly motivated to recover, they might find that drug counseling is a very helpful strategy for them, especially if:

1) They are highly self motivated individuals (possible, though many addicts are not).

2) They are using counseling as a secondary strategy, only after a strong foundation of action in other areas (such as group therapy, etc.).

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3) They use counseling as a means for enhancing their decision making and quality of life in long term sobriety, rather than as an early recovery strategy.

In other words, people who use drug addiction counseling as a secondary, helping strategy in long term recovery will probably benefit most from it.  It does not really qualify as a means to get someone from active addiction to clean and sober overnight.  But it can still be a useful tool.

James being analysed by Dr Bob Hartley
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ambernectar 13

Drug addiction counselors can fall somewhere between 12 step sponsors and life coaches.  In some cases they may play a similar part to either role, and can thus encourage the addict to take a variety of actions in different areas of their life.  For example, depending on the situation, the counselor may encourage the client:

…to go to rehab.

…to start attending 12 step meetings on a regular basis.

…to start exercising, eating healthier, or seeking holistic growth in some fashion.

…to find a sponsor in recovery and get active in using them on a regular basis.

…to seek medical help and get on medications that might help with their condition.

And so on.

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