Facing up to your addiction and dealing with the physical symptoms is only the start of the rehabilitation process. The majority of drug addictions involve an initial phase of detoxification, but this is only the beginning of your recovery journey. Whilst this detox stage is designed to remove all traces of drugs from your body, what happens when this phase of treatment is complete? The importance of drug counselling and the benefits it brings to recovery cannot be underestimated. Having that crucial engagement with a drugs counsellor, giving you, or a loved one, time to talk through personal triggers, issues and feelings can be hugely beneficial and can really make a difference to maintaining your recovery in the outside world.
Drug addiction counselling is focused on supporting a person to achieve and maintain abstinence – not only from addictive chemicals or substances but also the behaviours that might trigger and feed the addiction. Drug addiction counselling works by helping you to first recognise the existence of the issue before going on to explore the associated thinking connected with it. In the second stage of counselling, you will be encouraged to achieve and maintain your abstinence by arming yourself with the necessary psychosocial tools and spiritual development to continue your recovery as a lifelong journey.
Drug addiction counselling can take place as part of a group or in a one-to-one setting with an individual counsellor. The key to your counselling being successful is twofold. The first stage can only be accomplished by you, yourself. No matter what your addiction might be, it is up to you to sign up to and have faith in the counselling process. You have to commit to being completely open and honest with your counsellor. If there is even the slightest mistrust between you and the person trying to help you, then there is little chance of the counselling being successful. The professional running the counselling session also has a duty to maintain the pressure on you to talk about and face up to your situation. If a sensitive topic or subject is raised that might be difficult to confront or discuss, then your counsellor must make sure this gets discussed. It might sound harsh to adopt this kind of approach, but being firm will always pay off in the long run!
Ray, 32, is from Glasgow. After reaching crisis point as a result of an ongoing relationship with substance abuse, Ray was booked into a private drug rehab clinic just outside Glasgow. After completing his detox, Ray was more than ready to go home. Or so he thought. “I didn’t see the point of getting counselling. I certainly didn’t see it as something that I needed to do. Not now the chemicals were out of my system, I was feeling a lot better and was ready to go home. I thought I was over my addiction.”
But staff at the rehab clinic were well aware that whilst Ray was free from the toxins in the drugs, there was still a long way to go with regard to his relationship and associated thinking to drugs. Ray was booked into a series of counselling sessions with a specialist drug counsellor.
I wasn’t keen on the idea of counselling at first but the clinic staff, and my family convinced me that it was an important part of my recovery. I didn’t want to say much at first but after a while it got easier and soon I was really letting go and pouring my heart out. The counsellor helped me to face up to and deal with a lot of my triggers. I’m certain that without the drug counselling there is no way I would have been able to achieve a full recovery.Talking to the counsellor really made me think about the reasons behind my drug taking, helping me to understand and make peace with the effect that taking drugs had had on my life, and the people around me. It was tough to hear some of their comments but I know the counselling has made me into a much more resilient person as a result.
It has been proven that drug addiction counselling can be a highly effective method of recovery. Although every counsellor has their own individual style and approach, generally speaking, it is talking and behavioural therapies that are most commonly used – both as a group or as part of an individual therapy programme. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is most commonly used for treating drug abuse and addiction as it helps people to recognise and deal with their thoughts and face up to situations that may have triggered drug cravings in the past.
Private drug rehab treatment centres offer frequent individual counselling to all patients. Where necessary, counselling sessions may take place on a daily basis with counsellors helping patients to uncover and address any emotional or psychological factors that may have contributed to their addictive behaviour.
In addition to individual counselling, patients in rehab often take part in wider group therapy. This gives patients with similar addictions the opportunity to meet together under the direction of a counsellor. This experience allows them to form friendships, creating close personal bonds, which can assist in accelerating the recovery process.
If you or someone close to you is struggling to face up to a drug addiction, then Port of Call can help. Take that first step towards recovery today and contact one of our expert advisers for free on 08000029010.
Disclaimer: Names and some details have been changed to protect the identity of our case study participants.
Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.
We’re specialists in UK rehab options and can advise you on alcohol rehab in the North West, drug rehab in the North West and other addiction support services in the area.