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

By Michael Puskar

Updated May 29, 2020

Reviewer Kristen Hardin

If you're considering treatment for your substance addiction, you're already on the right track to getting better. Sometimes the toughest part is admitting you have a problem. This article will show you how to go about finding a counselor who specializes in helping people with substance abuse problems and addiction so you can start receiving the treatment that will work for you.

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What Is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling combines mental health treatment with drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The programs can be inpatient or outpatient. Regardless of where you seek treatment, you'll talk to a licensed and trained substance abuse counselor in a clinical environment. In counseling, you'll speak to a mental health professional to determine the factors contributing to your substance abuse behaviors.

In talk therapy, you'll discuss the addiction causes, 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.

You're making a decision right now to better your life by asking for help. When you realize 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're acting courageous by finding support for something so difficult to control. Addiction is extremely debilitating and potentially deadly. You're acknowledging you have a problem and addressing it, and 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 for your addiction. In any case, you're not alone.

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How to Find a Drug Counselor Near You

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 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 you have a substance abuse issue. One solution is to call a national helpline such as SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

You can also 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 substance use disorder and how to treat it. One of the components of addiction treatment is the evaluation process. You get evaluated and establish your needs so 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 who specializes in working with substance use disorder. You'll find group therapy 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. Most facilities will offer both individual and group counseling. Group counseling can be a powerful resource for fighting addiction. You feel less alone knowing there are people out there fighting the same battle.

Wondering Where You Can Find Drug Counseling Services Near You?
Get Drug Counseling Resources Online Now. Chat With A Licensed Mental Health Professional.

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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 provide short medication management sessions where they check to see how a medication is working and if it needs to be adjusted. An addiction psychiatrist determines 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 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're experiencing cravings for a particular substance, tell your psychiatrist, and they can help you through it.

Find the Right Addiction or Drug Counselor

There are standard methods to use to find an addiction counselor. One is to get a recommendation from a family member 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 you check their credentials to ensure their education is adequate and that they're certified to work with substance use issues. Check reviews online to make sure they're ethical and that other people have had good things to say about them.

If you think you've found a good fit, give them a call and 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 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 you want to explore other counselor options, you have the right to do so. There are many mental health professionals to choose from, and you don't have to go with the first one you picked. If you don't feel comfortable with your choice, 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 the right choice for you. The first session is generally assessment and evaluation, so if you don't know for sure how you feel, consider going back for the second session.

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Addiction Treatment is Crucial

You may be deep in the process of a substance-abuse issue, but there is hope. 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. 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. It's essential to take control of your life by seeing a mental health professional to treat the addiction.

BetterHelp Can Help

In addition to the advice mentioned above, you can also opt for online treatment services, such as the ones offered by BetterHelp. BetterHelp is a great option because all you need is an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can get started anywhere at any time. It's convenient and more affordable than in-patient treatment facilities.

At BetterHelp, you'll be matched with a licensed, 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. Get started today! Be sure to read some of the reviews below to see what others have to say about BetterHelp's services.

"Sandra is such an excellent therapist. From the very first session I FINALLY felt heard, supported and that making huge, positive changes to my rather broken life was actually possible. She is compassionate, skilled and encouraging. I highly recommend."

"Julissa is my lifeline to sobriety. I always know that she is there to assist me. She's honest and to the point. She helps me to see other aspects of my behavior that I either could not see or refuse to see. Thank you, Julissa!"


Once you establish a plan that includes coping skills, release prevention, and where to go for support, you will start to feel more in control and peaceful in your life. Whether you work with somebody in your local area or you find a therapist at BetterHelp, you deserve to have good mental health, and it's important to make that a priority in your recovery from addiction. With the right tools, you can do it. Take the first step.



What it means to be addicted?

“Addiction” is a word that seems simple to define, but when you think about it a little more, you realize how complicated addiction can be. Addiction involves a compulsive need for a substance, behavior, activity, or something similar, usually something with negative consequences.

The concept with addiction is commonly associated with alcoholism and substance abuse, but in truth, you can be addicted to anything. For example, internet addiction is an emerging form of addiction that is being studied. With internet addiction, you tend to overuse the internet for non-productive activities, usually social media or the like, and you can’t function without it.

Another example is sex addiction. You can be addicted to having sex with other people, usually strangers, which can lead to STIs or other sexual consequences.

The line between a habit and an addiction can be blurred. A habit tends to form over time and it can be good or bad. However, there isn’t intense brain chemistry making it difficult to change the habit. With some cognitive behavioral therapy, you can change a negative habit, like not washing your hands.

Meanwhile, addiction is much harder to break, be it alcoholism and substance abuse, opiate addiction, or any other chemical dependency. You may need to seek help from addiction counseling, or have strong self-discipline. Sometimes, the people you love may schedule an addiction intervention.

How long does it take for something to become an addiction?

There is no magic number in regards to how long it takes someone to develop alcoholism and substance abuse or other addiction issues. Some people can binge drink during a vacation and come back with no addiction to alcohol. Meanwhile, someone else can have one beer and develop an addiction to alcohol shortly after.

There are many factors that can determine this, including:

  • Age. Someone younger, like a teen, is still growing and their brain is more vulnerable to addiction issues.
  • Genetics. If you come from a family of people who are easily addicted, you're more likely to develop an addiction yourself.
  • How often you take the substance.
  • What environment you’re raised in.

These are just a couple examples. On average, alcoholism and substance abuse problems can happen in a shorter timeframe than you may think, and it’s important to be mindful of that.

Is addiction a disease or moral failing?

There are many people who will swear addiction to be a flaw in one’s character, or simply a choice they made that they can easily get out of, but the science says that addiction, be it to drugs or something else, such as gambling addiction, is a disease. Many people have an addictive personality, where all it takes is one use of a drug for them to develop an addiction. Afterward, the disease of addiction can make it so that it’s hard to break free from, even when someone is getting help.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t some personal responsibility. However, there is also personal responsibility in treating one’s depression or anxiety, yet most of us would not shame someone with depression.

This attitude towards addiction as a moral failing can be destructive, as it makes someone not want to admit they have a problem and want to seek help.

What is the role of an addiction counselor?

Addiction counseling involves helping those who have an addiction or have an addiction personality, and when someone wants to find addiction counseling services, they may wonder how it works.

In general, addiction counseling involves building a trust between client and counselor. The client is in a vulnerable state of mind, and the counselor needs to build enough trust so the client can express their emotions without feeling like they will be judged.

Drug counselors may speak with the family as well to create an emergency plan, but counseling can be done individually, too.

If a patient visits a medical detox rehab center, the role of the counselor may be to

A counselor or therapist may employ several techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which can reduce the link between addictive thoughts and habits that feed that addiction. In addition, the counselor may look at triggers. There are many thoughts, locations, people, or other concepts that can trigger those addictive cravings, especially during vulnerable states.

What does a drug therapist do?

A drug therapist works with a client to detox them of the drugs they are addicted to, then works with them to fight their addiction. Drug therapists may use different therapy techniques to change how one thinks and behaves in order to reduce their cravings. In addition, drug therapists tend to work with the client to help reduce relapsing.

What is the best therapy for substance abuse?

With drug treatment centers, addiction is something that is treated through various forms of therapy. Everyone is different, and a therapist knows that they may need different therapy types in order to help the person recover. Here are some therapies used:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a versatile, evidence-based form of therapy. It explores the relationship between your thoughts and your habits. In the context of drug addiction therapy, CBT tends to involve the thoughts that may feed into drug addiction. When one has those thoughts, changing the habits can help the person recover from addiction, and vice versa.
  • Dialectal behavioral therapy, or DBT, involves working to reduce the cravings one experiences, as well as their severity. I
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT, involves a patient learning to think more rationally and positively to help change their emotions, and thus change their addictive personality.
  • The 12-step program. This method is quite popular, with people meeting up to discuss their sobriety. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two such examples.

What is mental health counseling?

This is a professional who helps their clients have emotional or mental wellness. Mental health counseling can vary in services and what type of problems are treated. Let’s look at some of them.

Anger Management

When someone has issues controlling their anger, it can lead to severe problems, sometimes legal issues. Anger management helps those control their anger better. Meditation and other calming techniques may be used. Alternatively, anger management may explore the trauma that could have lead to the anger. Of course, expressing anger can be healthy, and the goal of anger management isn’t to eliminate any anger, but instead to teach the client how they can express it in a healthy, productive manner.

Marriage Counseling

Another popular form of mental health counseling is marriage counseling or couples counseling. This is usually for couples who are in the ropes with their marriage or relationship, usually people who want to fix the marriage before it’s too late. Marriage counseling is usually done with both people, but in some cases, individual marriage counseling may be done as well. Finally, marriage counseling can sometimes be done with healthy couples.

Christian Counseling

Christian counseling is guidance from a Biblical perspective, often combining the beliefs of Christianity and advice offered by counselors. It’s a good way to get help while strengthening your faith.

Experiential Therapy

This type of therapy will use different ways for a client to express themselves. For example, you may see an experiential therapist employ acting, role-playing, different arts, music, and so on to help the client re-experience certain situations from their past. Usually, by expressing themselves, the client is able to come up with solutions that they may not have thought about beforehand.

Drug Counseling

Usually located in treatment centers, this type of counseling seeks to help clients stay off of addictive substances and look for ways to avoid relapse. It often involve changing one’s habits and being mindful of their surroundings. Drugs counseling isn’t here to shame the client, but instead to help them grow as a person.

What should a treatment plan include?

Treatment centers will offer a treatment plan, which can help those who are dealing with addiction. Usually, a treatment plan includes detoxification, medication, and therapy, but the plan can vary depending on the individual. Someone with a mile addiction may not need detoxification, for example. Every case is different.

How do you create a treatment plan?

When going to any treatment centers, the counselor will often create a treatment plan. This is a way for you to get the recovery you need, and while these plans follow similar beats, they can vary.

First, the licensed mental health drug counselor will attempt to get you off the drugs. Sometimes, this can be done through therapy, but other times, you may need detoxification via a hospital. Depending on what you're taking, detoxifying your body of the substances can be dangerous, if not deadly, and treatment centers will work carefully to make sure you’re off the substances.

Next, the therapist may use medication or therapy to help you wean off the substances. Certain medications can stop cravings, and treatment centers will work hard to make sure that you get off those medications once you’re done with the treatment. Alternatively, drug treatment centers may have therapists who can teach you ways to identify triggers, stop cravings, and more.

Your first step should be to find treatment. Look for a treatment center locator and find one near you.

How do I become an addiction counselor?

If you want to be an addiction counselor, it’s a noble career choice. You’re helping those who are vulnerable improve their lives, and that in of itself is a rewarding career. Becoming a counselor is a long process. First, you need a degree in counseling. You may need to spend years in education to earn that degree, but once you do, you’re on your way. Afterward, you need to earn hours. You may need to be supervised or have internships, and earn enough to qualify. You also need to past a background check to make sure you don’t have any felonies or child abuse in your record. Finally, you need to get a certification. This is earned through an exam provided by the state department or whatever governing body you have. Afterwards, you may apply at various treatment centers or other counseling firms. Alternatively, you may work on your own.

Is addiction a disease in the DSM 5?

If you look at the DSM, alcoholism and substance abuse, and addiction in general, is classified as a disorder, not a disease. These two words are used interchangeably, but there is a difference. A disease is how the body responds to certain factors that are external or internal. Meanwhile, a disorder is when something disrupts normal bodily functions or the structure of one’s body. Either way, addiction is more complicated than many would think, and it’s important to seek substance abuse counseling services should you be dealing with addiction.

What is the main cause of drug addiction?

Drug addiction has no single cause. Some people will say that the cause is taking the drug, but it’s often more complicated than that. Many different factors can lead to addiction. For example, genetics. Someone may have an addictive personality naturally. Another factor can include where the person lives. If you live in an area where more people are prone to addiction, that’s something else to consider as well.

The age of the person can be a cause as well. For example, teenagers are more prone to peer pressure and because their brains are still developing, they are more likely to be dependent on a substance.

No matter the cause, it’s important to seek help from a licensed mental health professional or seek help from substance abuse services.

How do you say no to drugs?

Anti-drug programs used to depict saying no to drugs as something that was a bit unrealistic. You’d see imagery of a drug dealer finding a kid in an alleyway and offering free drugs, and the kid simply said no. In real life, it’s more complicated. For example, one situation where you may have to say no can include going to a friend’s party and being pressured to drink, even though you don’t want to.

A good friend will respect your decision and won’t pressure you. Say no and stand your ground. If you don’t want to outright tell someone no, you can make up an excuse. Say you have a family emergency, for example.

What are the indicators that put students at risk for drug abuse?

Many students, especially ones entering their teens, are at risk for drug abuse. There are several factors that can put students more at risk for abuse, including:

  • A student may develop an addiction of their peers to consume drugs, alcohol, or other substances. In the teen years, people try hard to impress others, which usually means conforming to what their peers do.
  • This can also apply if parents or family members use drugs.
  • Problems at home. Poor households, abusive parents, and other personal problems can put a student more at risk for alcohol and drug problems.
  • Problems at school. If a student is suffering from bad grades, they may end up trying drugs.
  • If a community has a drug problem to begin with, this can increase the chances of a student developing an addiction.

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