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Counselling can be just as important as treatment for an addict

Cutting down and stopping drinking, or using a substance, through a gradual detox and structured alcohol rehab programme, is merely the beginning of the journey. Most people will also need varying degrees of counselling to beat their addiction for good.

Professional support is essential to gain a better understanding of the issues that make you drink or turn to drugs. With the enhanced clarity that brings, you are far better equipped to manage your urges and reach full recovery in the long-term.


Alcohol addiction counselling

Alcohol addiction counselling can take the form of one-to-one counselling or group support. During admission to a residential clinic, days are usually structured around a combination of one-to-one counselling and group therapy.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one such group counselling environment, which famously follows a 12-step programme of recovery and allows members to discuss their experiences with fellow members, in an open but confidential environment.

Drug addiction counselling

In terms of drug addiction counselling, talking and behavioural therapies are most commonly used and these can also be carried out in group or individual therapy. Sessions are focused on teaching new ways of coping with drug cravings, whilst helping to tackle coexisting issues, such as depression and anxiety, wherever necessary.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is also frequently used for treating drug abuse. It enables people to recognise thoughts, feelings and situations that trigger their drug cravings. The therapist assists with healthier strategies to ward off any negative thoughts and feelings.

What to look for in a drug counsellor

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has devised some clinical guidelines that outline a series of recommendations about psychological treatments, treatment with medicines and what kind of services are best suited to individuals with a drug addiction.

NICE suggest that people in drug treatment should be offered psychological or psychosocial treatments, which may include:

  • Psychological treatments, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Behavioural therapy, in which the person agrees a set of rewards and consequences for abstaining or using drugs (a process known as contingency management).
  • Couples and/or family therapy.

Depending on the nature of the drug addiction, and the drug in question, detoxification may also be offered.

Make us your first Port of Call. We can help you, or your loved one, to access the right drug addiction help at the right time. Take the first step towards recovery by speaking to one of our advisers today. Please call our free phone line on 08000029010.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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