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Healing Minds, Saving Lives: What Is the Role of Counseling in Addiction Recovery?

Counseling is a crucial part of recovery from addiction and relapse prevention. This is a necessary aspect of treatment that both heals minds and saves lives. The role of counseling in addiction recovery can look a little different depending on the type of substance that an individual is in recovery from. A person’s unique needs and situation will also play a role in determining the primary goals to reach through counseling. 

One of the most important things that counseling can help to accomplish is to identify the root cause of the addiction. Without this, treatment would be similar to just putting a band-aid on the problem but not truly confronting the issue at hand. This is why relapse is often more likely for those who don’t get to the bottom of what factors led to their addiction. Counseling can help to not only identify the root cause but also to pinpoint the most effective ways to go about treating it. 

At Sage Recovery, our dedicated team of addiction specialists and counselors are here to empower you and you learn more about yourself in recovery. We want to ensure that you have every tool necessary to allow you to enjoy the many gifts of long-term successful sobriety. 

Role of Counseling in Depressant Use Recovery

Depressants are a type of drug that slows down the nervous system and can create a sense of calm or relaxation. Alcohol is a depressant that is commonly misused. Other types of depressants include barbiturates and benzodiazepines. The reason that some people begin to misuse these types of drugs is often in an attempt to treat undiagnosed mental health disorders. 

Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have debilitating symptoms when they are not treated. Sometimes people don’t even know that what they have is a disorder or that it is something that can be treated. They may go years or even decades without seeking treatment. Sometimes this is because the individual doesn’t want to admit they need help or thinks that they can control their symptoms on their own. 

Thus, addiction often develops through self-medicating practices. This involves using alcohol or drugs to try to find relief for the unpleasant symptoms a person may be dealing with. For example, someone struggling with anxiety may turn to alcohol to help calm them down instead of trying to figure out what is causing them to feel this way. They might not even realize that this is something they’ve been doing until they begin to learn more about themselves and their addiction through counseling. 

Role of Counseling in Stimulant Use Recovery

Stimulant drugs provide the opposite effect of depressants in that they speed up the central nervous system. As a result, they cause a type of high, rush, or sense of euphoria. This rush is often the reason that prescription stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin are often misused. To fully treat stimulant addiction, it is necessary to find out why the individual began misusing stimulants in the first place. 

Stimulant misuse is considered any form of using the drug that is not in the way that it was intended or prescribed. In some cases, this is done by taking it from someone else who had a legitimate prescription. Someone might not be able to point toward one specific reason that caused them to start misusing stimulants. Maybe they once had a reason but lost sight of it as they began to become more and more addicted to the drug. 

For example, many college-aged people misuse Adderall in hopes that it will help them stay awake and alert. They may do this because they are feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with their studies and think that this will give them the boost they need. Counseling can help identify the different thought processes that go into a person’s decision to misuse a drug like this. From there, the individual can begin to address these skewed ways of thinking. 

Role of Counseling in Opioid Use Recovery

Opioids are among some of the most dangerous and commonly misused drugs. In some cases, people begin taking them with no intention of ever misusing them. For example, they may have been prescribed the drug to treat severe pain from an injury or major surgery. Over time, however, they may begin taking more than the intended dosage or use them for other purposes. For example, some people may misuse them to cope with past trauma or for a temporary break from their life circumstances. 

Many people can become lost in addiction. However, counseling can help them break free by helping them to better understand themselves and begin to heal. At Sage Recovery, we can work with a client to determine what specific circumstances could have played into their addiction through counseling and other treatment approaches. 

If you are struggling with substance use disorder, you may be tempted to believe that it will just go away on its own. Likewise, maybe you believe that you still have control and that you can manage your addiction without help. However, addiction can be a very powerful and dangerous thing. It is not something that someone should feel as if they have to face on their own. If this is something that you’re going through, our team at Sage Recovery can help. We will guide you through detox, treatment, and sobriety beyond treatment as you navigate early recovery. Give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today to learn more.