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Understanding Addiction Counseling

Addiction counseling seeks to make the addict realize the imminent failure in their lives due to addiction and develop ways to stop drug abuse and save their health, relationships, and quality of life. With over 11.8 million deaths related to drug use worldwide, addiction is the main concern in society today. The discussion around addiction is common in almost all facets of social development globally, with numerous steps being taken to help curb this global disaster, one step at a time. 

Understanding addiction

The debate around addiction and its elements is a conversation often misunderstood in society. Drug and alcohol use has often been viewed as a prerequisite for addiction, with many often castigating frequent users of their impending addiction problem. However, it is possible to take drugs and alcohol without getting addicted. 

According to scientific research, addiction is not a moral and willpower problem, but a health issue and medical disorder that affects brain function and changes behavioral patterns. These structural changes in the brain make it harder for addicts to change their behavioral patterns, making addiction a difficult habit to overcome. 

In light of this, addiction occurs when the line between frequent use and excessive intake is crossed. For instance, with the rampant intake of drugs and alcohol, self-control becomes blurred, thereby characterizing the onset of an addiction problem. 

Causes of addiction

As there are no definite factors that can guarantee a certain individual becoming a lifelong addict, there are some risk factors that can help examine the possibility of addiction in an individual:

*Biological risk factors

The biological makeup of an individual can help ascertain the probability of them developing an addiction problem. For instance, genetic makeup is a major factor to consider. Individuals who come from a family line of addicts will probably be at a high risk of becoming one. The rate of individual development and mental disorder also has a factor to play. For instance, children who have early interactions with drugs and alcohol are more likely to develop a habit of taking them, consequently leading to addiction in their adulthood. Individuals struggling with mental disorders can delve into substance abuse as a means of distraction. 

*Environmental risk factors

These are factors relating to an individual’s environment in their personal, social, and private life. The influence of the home environment plays a big role in determining future drug problems. For instance, lack of parental support and low-income family relationships may propel an individual towards abusing drugs and substances. Friendships and peer influences also affect the probability of addiction.

Why addiction counseling

Addiction seeks to change the trajectory of an individual’s life by destroying their relationships due to their excessive binging on drugs and alcohol. The individual loses interest in the important things in life and resorts to finding avenues to satisfy their cravings. 

Steps in addiction counseling

Given the above indications towards addiction in an individual’s trajectory, addiction counseling aims to create structures and measures needed for the addict to stop substance abuse and live a normal, healthy life. 

Addiction is manageable, and addicts can take control of their lives successfully. Different drugs affect individuals differently which is why it is best to get professional help as it is the only way to ensure the side effects of the drug are managed and maintained.

Addiction counselors seek to set realistic and short term goals for addicts to overcome their addiction. This eventually progresses into long term goals which help the patient manage their addiction even after counseling therapy. The first step in addiction counseling is realizing that there is a problem; addiction. After this comes to the process of achieving sobriety. Addicts are advised to check into a rehabilitation center where they undergo detoxification to flush out the drugs from their system. 

Once the patient has regained sobriety, addiction counseling can begin. The patient is guided on developing adaptive behaviors and routine habits to restore their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. By gathering feedback on the patient’s behaviors and history, the therapist assists the patient in understanding the main causes of their addiction and how to deal with them to get treated. Addiction counseling helps addicts mend their broken relationships, release guilt they feel from becoming an addict, and accept responsibility for their actions.

Recovering addicts who complete their addiction counseling should join local recovery groups, which offer further support as they transition into normal lives. For instance, Alcoholic or Narcotic Anonymous helps keep the individual accountable, even as they continue their normal routine. 

Strong family support can also seek to encourage the individual towards continuing to better their lives. Individuals without strong family support can join halfway houses, which have set rules and guidelines for recovering addicts, which keep them on the recovery path and hold them accountable for their sobriety. 

Addiction requires a lifelong dedication towards managing it. The possibility of recovering and entering remission only to relapse is possible at any time. Therefore, recovering addicts should ensure they are aware of their triggers and get professional help before it is too late. 

Things to consider in addiction counseling

Getting professional help from certified and licensed addiction counselors is the first step in counseling. This ensures the right methods and techniques are used to help the addict get out of their harmful behavior. With the different counseling techniques available, a thorough evaluation of the patient is needed before treatment commences. This evaluation seeks to examine their physical, mental, and behavioral well-being to derive a suitable treatment plan. The treatment plan is then customized, depending on the findings’ results, and presented to the patient. 

Seeking professional help also ensures the patient’s confidentiality is protected. For instance, some addicts may refrain from seeking addiction counseling due to fear of repercussions from society. Therapists must adhere to professional, ethical guidelines that protect the patient from having their privacy violated. 

It is vital to confirm whether individual insurance covers addiction counseling. Some insurance companies offer premiums for substance abuse treatment, which may vary depending on the scope of treatment. However, there are structured payment plans that can be discussed by the provider and the patient. 

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