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According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 59.3 million people used illicit drugs in the past year. Of these people, 40.3 million met the criteria for a substance use disorder. This means their substance use is past the point of being recreational and usually crosses the line into habitual and compulsive use.

People who misuse and abuse drugs eventually face consequences directly related to their use. These range from minor things like missing a day of work or school to getting into serious legal trouble. However, most people with substance use disorders continue using substances despite the consequences that occur.

Eventually, some people reach a point where they cannot stop using without help. Addiction treatment is the primary way that people can find a solution to their substance use disorder. Substance abuse counseling is one type of addiction treatment that offers support and guidance to achieve recovery.

What is Addiction Counseling?

Substance abuse is a complex condition that is often misunderstood. People who struggle with substance abuse, such as heroin addiction or alcohol addiction, often do not respond to a generic treatment approach. Addiction counseling is a specialized approach to counseling that’s designed to help those trying to stop using drugs and alcohol. 

Types of Therapies Used

Not all forms of therapy are useful for every person seeking help. Each client requires an individualized approach to care that considers their substance use and experience. Substance abuse counseling uses a variety of therapeutic modalities to meet the needs of each client. Some of the types of therapies used in addiction counseling include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Contingency management
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy
  • Family therapy

12 Core Functions of Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance abuse counseling isn’t simply cognitive behavioral therapy focused on addiction. Treating substance use disorder requires a specialized and intentional approach to care. The Certification and Licensing of Substance Abuse Counselors developed a set of core functions needed to provide effective treatment. 

  1. Screening: Determine whether a particular program is appropriate for each client seeking treatment.
  2. Intake: Provide the initial assessment and administrative procedures to admit each client to the program.
  3. Orientation: Describe the general nature and goals of the program, such as rules for participation in counseling, available service horse, costs, and client’s rights.
  4. Assessment: Identify and evaluate the client to determine presenting symptoms, struggles, and needs to develop an effective treatment plan.
  5. Treatment planning: Work with each client to identify and rank problems that need to be resolved, outline long-term goals for treatment, and decide on modalities to be used.
  6. Counseling: Provide counseling services to achieve goals as outlined in the treatment plan and address any additional issues that arise.
  7. Case management: Involve other services, resources, agencies, and clinicians that will lead the client to achieve their established goals when necessary.
  8. Crisis intervention: Immediate response to a client’s acute emotional or physical distress when it arises.
  9. Client education: Educate each client on the reality of drug abuse and addiction, and inform them of additional resources that may prove helpful.
  10. Referral: Recognize when substance abuse counseling may not fully meet the client’s needs and make referrals to the appropriate services.
  11. Report and record-keeping: Chart the results of assessments, treatment plans, and counseling sessions to track each client’s progress through their program.
  12. Consultation with other professionals: Meet with other professionals treating the client to ensure comprehensive care across all avenues.

Find Substance Abuse Counseling Near Me

Are you struggling with your substance use and ready to quit using drugs? Substance abuse counseling may be the first step to freedom from drug use for you. You don’t need to battle your addiction alone; there are treatment programs available to help you. To find out more about the program that’s right for you, reach out to the Los Angeles Therapy Network to speak to a certified treatment specialist today!

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