By considering counseling for your addiction, you've taken the right first step. As they say, your first step is admitting you have a problem, and now you must fix it. Counseling can help you overcome your addictions and return you to a sober life that is productive and free of relapsing. It can be a tough journey, but a counselor is here to help, and here is how.
Are You Ready To Seek Addiction Treatment For Alcohol And Substance Abuse?
Detoxing From Alcohol And Drug / Substance Abuse - Information To Know
Detoxing yourself from the substances you're addicted to is the best first step when it comes to overcoming addiction, and it's quite challenging. It involves ridding yourself from the drug, and the withdrawal symptoms can be awful. Sometimes, they are just a mild annoyance, such as a headache, but other times the symptoms can be so bad that they may kill you.
If you plan to detox, it's a good idea to seek the help of a professional. A professional can monitor you and help treat any withdrawal symptoms you may have to increase the chances of successful detox.
Afterward, the real challenge begins. Staying off drugs. Our brains are unusual. They will change quickly as we become addicted and become programmed to serve that drug. They won't feel pleasure unless they take the drugs. Even though the drugs are bad for them, they'll still take them.
Once they are off drugs, the brain takes a long while to recover. It still craves the drug, and it may take weeks to months to even a year for the brain to revert to its normal function. This is where an addiction counselor comes in. They can help you reach the end of your journey, where you're completely free of the drug's grasp, and stay that way for as long as possible.
An Addiction Counselor Can Help You Understand Your Addiction Behavior And Triggers
Sometimes, relapses happen. You're clean, you have all the intentions to avoid the substance you were addicted to, and then BAM, the urge comes back, and you give in. Why? Well, one reason may be due to triggers.
Even when you're clean, it takes a good while for your brain to recover from the changes the substance made to it. You may relapse thanks to certain triggers that will tell your brain that you need the substance.
You may think, "I'm off the drugs. If I just take it once, I'll feel fine and won't be addicted." But this is usually not the case. Your brain is still craving the drug, and if you take it, it can cause you to lose all the progress. This is why it's important to avoid the triggers.
What are these addiction triggers? They are different for everyone, but here are a few common causes:
Sometimes, the smell can be enough to trigger you. If you're a recovering alcoholic, the scent of booze can make you crave it. This can be hard to avoid in some cases. Every party or even fine dining establishment you go to can have the smell of alcohol, and managing this trigger is hard.
Thinking About The Past
Sometimes, thinking about your past involvement with drugs can be enough to trigger you. Your mind may romanticize your involvement with drugs. Even if you had a horrible ending, your mind remembers the times when you felt good, and you crave the drug again. If your thoughts are what trigger you, counseling needs to turn your thinking around and try to block off any thoughts about those drugs.
If you feel a wave of depression hit you, or feel intense anger, this can be an incentive to try the drug again. This can be tricky, as some emotions are hard to avoid. We all have our down days and our days where we feel snappy. If you're experiencing these emotions, you must talk to your therapist as soon as possible to repair them.
A Major Life Change Or Experience
A big change in your life, such as a new job, new living situation, or anything else may trigger a relapse. You must talk to your therapist whenever you are making a transition in life.
Stress is something we all must face, and it can be valuable in helping you solve problems. With that said, stress can be overwhelming, and many may turn back to drugs to kill the pain. If you're feeling stressed, talking to your therapist can help you manage your stress or look for solutions to reduce your stress. Either way, the solution is not to take the drug. You're just going to regret it down the road.
Being Too Confident
Wait, being confident is bad? No, it's a good thing. If you go into drug rehab thinking you can't do it, then you may have less of a chance of succeeding. Having some confidence goes a long way.
However, there is such a thing as being too confident. This comes in the form of thinking you're clean and you don't need any more professional help. You have made progress, but you may not be out of the woods even though you see the exit. Disregarding your counselor and your plan can cause you to fall back when you least expect it.
You must have hope and confidence, but also be realistic and realize that having help along the way is important.
Recovering From A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse
Relapsing can feel like the tragic end of your recovery journey. You were doing so well, and then you fell. It's okay. Many people slip up a few times before they can get off for good. Whenever you relapse, talk to your counselor. Your addiction therapist is there to tell you why you relapsed, how you can prevent it in the future, and tell you why you shouldn't feel bad about yourself when you slipped up. We all make mistakes.
Repairing Your Relationships
If you have become addicted, you have probably burned a few bridges along the way. Drifting apart from your friends, being disowned by your family, and pushing away anyone else who wanted to help you. To have a good recovery, you need the help of people who support you, and a part of that is to repair the relationships that went sour.
Sometimes, this means that you have to reach out to your old friends and offer an olive branch. A counselor can help ease your way back into relationships and help you find the right words to prove you're better. If you can't repair your relationships, a therapist can teach you how to make peace with that and help find new relationships that will be supportive of your journey.
A Therapist Can Help Improve Thoughts And Behaviors
One way you can recover your addiction is by changing how you think. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, can make you eliminate any negative thoughts. If you keep thinking that you can't make a recovery, cognitive behavioral therapy can make you realize that you can make it, and you got this.
There are other forms of therapy as well that can make you change how you think. Some forms of behavior can make you associate the drug you're addicted to with something negative, such as the food you hate or a bad memory you've experienced.
Online Therapy Makes It Even Easier
Whenever you're struggling with addiction, you sometimes need therapy right now. Thoughts of relapsing, stress, your current life situation… if you don't have someone to talk to, you may fail. That's where online therapy comes in. Online therapy allows you to talk to a therapist when you need it, and it's great for the awkward hours of the night. For example, if you're struggling at midnight, you can have a chat with a therapist and feel better. If you're in a place where you can't speak, you can always chat with them through text.
The point is that online therapy is there for you no matter when you need it, making it great for addiction counseling. Some situations need immediate help, especially if the risk of relapse is high. A therapist can de-escalate the situation and keep you happy and healthy.
Therapy For Other Conditions Or Situations
Sometimes, a therapist can help with more than just an addiction. There may be a reason you became addicted that you didn't even realize. An event in your childhood may have made you more prone to addiction, or a life situation made you crave the drugs you became addicted to. A therapist can track down the reasons and make a plan for you to relieve yourself of any past event you may be experiencing.
These are just a few services an addiction counselor provides. Know that if you are suffering from addiction, there is no shame in seeking help and recovering. You'll come out of it being the stronger person, and you'll feel much better about yourself in the end.