I’m Ready To Find Drug Counseling Near Me: Where Should I Start?

Updated October 23, 2019

Reviewer Kristen Hardin

How To Find The Right Addiction Counselor

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You're making a decision right now to better your life by asking for help. When you realize that you have an addiction, whether it's an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or something else, one of the bravest and most difficult things to do is seek help. Acknowledging that you have a problem is hard. You are doing something courageous by finding support for something that you don't have control over. Addiction is extremely debilitating and potentially deadly. You're acknowledging that you have a problem and addressing it; that is something to be rewarded. Underneath the substance abuse issues, you might have depression, anxiety, past trauma, or another mental health disorder that can be treated at the same time as your addiction. It could also be part of the reason that you are in your addiction. In any case, you're not alone.

According to the substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA), in 2008 over 13% of adults received treatment for a mental health condition, and one of those conditions was substance use. Substance abuse can be influenced by your environment, past trauma, social issues, and a predisposition to addiction in your brain. There are so many factors that contribute to the development of a substance use disorder, and no matter what the root of your addiction is, it's essential to get help. The sooner you start addressing your addiction, the better. You might feel powerless like there's no hope. You may believe that you can't get better. But that's not true. Handling addiction is hard. But you can get through this.

What Is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling combines mental health treatment with drug and alcohol addiction treatment. People can go to outpatient programs or they can go to inpatient programs for substance abuse disorders. Regardless of where you seek treatment, you will talk to a licensed and trained substance abuse counselor in a clinical environment. In counseling, you will speak to a mental health professional to determine the contributing factors to the substance abuse behaviors that you are engaging in. If you're seeing a substance abuse counselor in your local area for talk therapy, you'll be talking about what caused the addiction and your counselor will help you develop coping skills, practice those skills, and you may attend group therapy as well. Some people also find a twelve-step program for substance abuse helpful. Depending on your specific needs, there's help available.

How To Find A Drug Counselor Near You

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If you go online and search for a drug counselor, you'll find a myriad of results, but you might feel uneasy if you don't know how experienced each counselor is in their field. Having a referral from someone that you know or from another trusted medical or mental health professional is a great way to find a counselor to see for substance abuse treatment, but it can be difficult if you're nervous about revealing that you have a substance abuse issue. One thing that you can do is call a national helpline such as SAMHSA's National Helpline - 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Another thing that you can do is look into treatment facilities to find a substance abuse counselor. At these centers, they have experts who understand addiction. These counselors are trained to help people through the hardest parts of substance abuse.

Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

Substance abuse treatment facilities are places where people seek treatment for substance abuse issues. They have teams of clinicians that understand what substance use disorder is and how to treat it. One of the components of addiction treatment is the evaluation process. You get evaluated and establish what your needs are so that you can get the proper treatment. In addiction treatment settings, you'll find social workers, psychologists, substance abuse counselors, psychiatrists, and an entire clinical team of people who specialize in working with substance use disorder. You'll find group therapy in that setting as well as individual counseling. Individual counseling for substance use is when you see someone one on one who specializes in substance abuse. They can help you get a deeper understanding of your addiction and help you learn coping skills and relapse prevention. Group therapy is another option and most facilities will offer both individual and group counseling. Group counseling can be really powerful because you get to be with other people who share your struggles. It can be helpful to be around others who struggle with the same issue so that you feel less alone and find that if you're struggling, it's okay because there are other people out there fighting the same battle.

What's an Addiction Psychiatrist?

An addiction psychiatrist is someone who specializes in mental health and comorbid issues (other mental health issues that occur at the same time as the substance use problem). They understand that substance abuse often comes with comorbid problems or conditions that need to be treated. They provide short medication management sessions where they check to see how a medication is working and if it needs to be adjusted in terms of the type of medicine or the dosage. An addiction psychiatrist has an important job where they're determining whether you're adequately medicated for substance abuse and that your cravings are under control so that you don't relapse. Medication can help with the cravings that you're experiencing from a substance abuse problem. An addiction psychiatrist will know how to handle your unique situation. Be honest about your symptoms. If you are experiencing cravings for a particular substance of choice, tell your psychiatrist, and they can help you through it.

Find The Right Addiction Or Drug Counselor

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There are standard methods to use to find an addiction counselor. One is to get a recommendation from a family or friend. Another is to see a general doctor for a referral, and it is confidential to see a general physician for this purpose. When you find someone, make sure that you check their credentials to ensure that their education is adequate and that they're certified to work with substance use issues. Check reviews online to make sure that they're ethical and that other people have had good things to say about them.

If you feel like you've found a good fit, give them a phone call and see how you feel about working with them on the phone. Have a consultation - you don't necessarily even need to see them in person until you feel comfortable doing so. Get a vibe from them over the phone, and if you feel comfortable seeing them, make an appointment to go in and see if you'd like to continue working with them. After meeting with a substance abuse counselor, you can think about whether the session felt productive and safe. If you feel like you want to explore other counselor options, you have the right to do that. There are many mental health professionals to choose from, and you don't have to go with the first one that you picked. If you don't feel comfortable with the person you saw, keep looking. Find another drug counselor that takes your insurance and meet with them to see if you're a good fit. The main thing is don't give up. You will find the right counselor for your needs. Keep in mind that you are likely in a vulnerable state and it may take more than one session to know if your counselor is a good fit. The first session is generally assessment and evaluation, so even if you don't know for sure how to feel, consider going back for the second session.

Addiction Treatment is Crucial

You may be deep in the process of a substance-abuse issue, but there is hope for you. Don't ignore the problem. Getting help for an addiction is a unique experience because it's not just the addiction that you're treating - it's also the problems underneath it. Once you get help and start managing the condition, you will begin to realize the underlying reason for using drugs or alcohol. Many people experience addiction to cover up something else, such as other mental health issues, trauma, or pain. One of the reasons that people are abusing drugs or alcohol is that they are self-medicating the pain from mental health problems. It's essential that you take control of your life by seeing a mental health professional for and identifying what your triggers are so that you can get the help that you need and develop coping skills.

Once you establish a plan with coping skills, release prevention, and where to go for support, you will start to feel more control and peace in your life. And you will be able to handle the cravings you have about addiction. Whether you work with somebody in your local area or you find a therapist here at BetterHelp online, you deserve to have good mental health, and it's important to make that a priority in your recovery from addiction. BetterHelp is a great option because it is an online platform and you can get started anywhere at any time. All you need is an internet connection and a smart phone, tablet, or computer. You will be matched with a professional counselor who can help you through your journey to recovery. And you can do this from the privacy of your home and at times that work with your schedule. It may be the first step you are looking for. Get started today!

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