Learn About Substance Abuse Counseling

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

There are many reasons why someone may choose to dabble in drugs but whether it’s because of boredom, stress, depression, or just curiosity, this can often lead to abuse of drugs and ultimately addiction.

When the frequent use of substances starts to interfere with a person’s ability to lead a ‘normal’ life in their overall health, relationships, and performance at work or in school, then they are considered to be fully addicted to drugs.

Some of the substances that people can be addicted to include:

  • Stimulants: In an effort to increase their performance by increasing ‘alertness’ some people take drugs like nicotine, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines.


  • Depressants: Unlike stimulants, depressants work by slowing down the central nervous system functions. Typically, these are prescribed for treating anxiety or sleep disorders but some people may become dependent on them as their body gets used to their effects.


  • Hallucinogenics: This class of drugs changes the user’s perception of reality. Examples include magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, and cannabis. The effects of these drugs can be very unpredictable and a lot of users end up experiencing psychotic reactions like paranoia.

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

This unhealthy dependence on medications or drugs usually begins with the person taking drugs voluntarily and often culminates in an intense physical and psychological dependency. Some of the warning signs to look for if you suspect that a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol are:

  • Constant failure to meet work, school, or social obligations
  • Relationship issues with family, friends or partners
  • Impulsive or reckless spending
  • Lack of interest in most other activities
  • Blackouts or short-term memory loss

From Abuse To Addiction

From substance abuse, it’s a slippery slope down to full-blown drug addiction where the user develops an increasing tolerance to the substance and needs to use more of it more frequently. Some people deny having an addiction to substance abuse while others are actually unaware that they have an addiction.

Either way, if someone you care about has a dependency issue with drugs or alcohol, it’s best to get them help as soon as possible because the very nature of the addiction and the way it changes how the user’s brain works means that it’s unlikely that they will come to this decision on their own.

How Therapy Can Help With Substance Abuse

Addiction causes problems not just for the user concerned but it also has devastating effects on the whole family which is why it’s vitally important to get help as soon as possible. Therapy is a powerful and effective tool that can help overcome substance abuse and addiction.

A skilled substance abuse therapist will be able to help the person being treated to set and achieve short-term goals so that they can overcome their addiction. Once they achieve sobriety, they can start to regain their mental, physical and emotional health by learning adaptive skills.

As treatment progresses, the therapist delves into the cause of the addiction with the patient, and together they work to create personalized coping strategies so that the patient can start to live their life anew with a sense of purpose.

The Bottom Line

Therapy is the best approach to helping someone in the clutches of drug or alcohol dependency. The therapist will not only help them get sober, but they will also assist the addict to create long-term goals so that they can release guilt, accept responsibility, and ultimately rebuild relationships that were damaged due to their behavior while under the influence.

Depending on where you are, you can search ‘substance abuse counselor near me’ and find a substance abuse therapist who can help you and the people that you love and care about.

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