I'm Struggling With An Addiction: Can I Find a Substance Abuse Counselor Near Me

By Stephanie Kirby|Updated August 31, 2022

If you ask five different people what "addiction" is, there's a chance that you will get five different answers. Some people think that addiction is merely a choice that people make. They think that if a person wants to quit a certain behavior, then all they need to do is stop. However, real addiction is not simply a choice. It could actually be a mental health concern that must be addressed with the help of mental health professionals.

Are You Struggling With Addiction?

Addiction is a disease of the brain. And while most people connect addiction to drugs or alcohol, there are also plenty of non-substance addictions that people have. A few of the most common include shopping, food, pornography, and gambling, all of which may benefit from substance abuse therapy with and addiction therapist or mental health professionals. It doesn’t have to be difficult to find an addiction counselor or a mental health professional to work with either. For this article, we are going to focus on substance-related addiction.

When someone has an addiction, they are consumed with the thought of using a certain substance. They crave it to the point that it consumes their life. It can become a cycle of using, figuring out when they will be able to use next, and then using again. This can also lead to drug dependencies, and other risk factors, which can be problematic for your physical and your mental health. If you have addiction issues, you should consider working with a mental health professional or multiple mental health professionals as soon as possible. An addiction therapist will likely have many options when it comes to your treatment, or you can talk to other health professionals, if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Does Science Prove This?

When someone experiences addiction, their brain's wiring has been impacted. This leads people to have the cravings that they experience. It impacts multiple areas of the brain including memory, behavior control, judgment, and decision-making. Most psychiatrists or health professionals will be able to explain what is occurring further, if you meet with them for addiction medicine strategies.

As a person continues to use the substance, it continues to make changes to their brain and the wiring. And, as the person becomes more and more used to the substance they are using, they continue to need larger amounts of it to experience the feelings of intoxication that they're seeking. This is called tolerance. When they are unable to obtain the substance, this could cause behavioral changes to occur. With some substances, a person may need medical treatment from both health professionals and mental health professionals, if they are without the substance they abuse.

Why Can't I Just Stop?

If you've never struggled with addiction before you may be wondering why people don't just stop using the substance. If they know that drugs or alcohol are negatively impacting their brain, their decisions, and their life then why do they keep using it? Health professionals will tell you that there is more to consider.

But, if you have struggled with addiction before, you know it's not that simple. Knowing that it would be wise to stop is one thing, actually stopping is another. The American Psychological Association explains that the impulse to use the substance overrides knowledge of the associated negative consequences. This may help you understand how addiction is a mental health concern that can require treatment from mental health professionals.

Many people struggling with addiction have said many times they will stop using, but haven't been successful in following through. It's the same thing as when a person tries to quit smoking cigarettes due to a nicotine addiction. People may know that they could improve their health if they were to stop smoking, but they have a hard time breaking the habit and urge to smoke. Just because a person knows they are doing something harmful does not make it easy to stop. Addiction is not logical. This is why you may want to find an addiction therapist or another mental health professional to work with, if you need support for drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse and you are concerned about your mental health.

Who Develops a Substance Use Disorder?

There are many factors that may contribute to the development of substance use disorder. Genes play a significant role, as an individual with a family history of substance use disorders increases one’s risk of developing one as well. Psychological factors (such as trauma) and environmental factors (such as one’s family or peer group engaging in regular substance use) also can contribute to an individual developing an addiction issue. You can talk to a mental health professional to find out additional risk factors that may be relevant.

What Types of Treatment Help With Addiction?

The good news is that you don't have to struggle alone, and there is help and hope available. Many forms of treatment such as therapy, specifically talk therapy, medications, support groups, group therapy, and resources like treatment centers can help you recover and heal from drug and alcohol addiction. You can likely find an addiction treatment program near you. Simply ask a mental health professional or other professionals you work with for a referral.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one form of treatment that is beneficial to people suffering with addiction as well as other mental health issues. CBT is a psychotherapeutic treatment that works on getting people to identify their thoughts and feelings, and how they impact their behaviors. CBT is one of the most common therapeutic approaches that may be used by an addiction therapist or mental health professionals when it comes to talk therapy treatment, and for a number of different conditions, including behavioral disorders and depression.

When CBT is being used for addiction therapy by health professionals, it helps by teaching people how to identify the thoughts that lead them to want to use drugs or other substances again. They can spot triggers and learn how to break up the negative thoughts to help an individual change perspective or the way they think, which may result in being able to make better choices. The theory behind CBT is that if a person can learn how to control their thoughts, they will have a better chance of controlling and changing their behavior. If you are interested in learning more about this type of mental health therapy, you can read articles online to become well versed on the subject. You can also discuss it with mental health professionals or your addiction therapist.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT works similar to CBT in the sense that it works on changing thought patterns to alter unwanted behaviors. It's been found to be effective by mental health professionals and other health professionals in treating patients that are at high risk of harmful behaviors, or for those who have not experienced improvement through other forms of mental health treatment. Patients are encouraged to accept their circumstances and situations as a way of breaking the control that it has on their life. Then they learn how to identify inaccurate thought patterns and replace them with healthy, rational thoughts.

DBT is made up of multiple parts including individual therapy, group therapy where skills are learned and practiced, and phone sessions between appointments, with qualified mental health professionals. You can discuss this option with your addiction therapist or your mental health professional as well or ask them to help you find an addiction center that specializes in this type of mental health treatment.

Meditation and Mindfulness

This is an alternative form of mental health therapy that often has the best results when used as a supplemental therapy combined with substance abuse counseling. The skills learned while practicing mindfulness and meditation teach a person how to step back from a situation and remove their feelings from it. They can experience a situation without passing judgment on it. And they can control their thoughts and overcome anxiety and fear.

These are important skills to have if you are struggling with addiction. It also helps you to learn how to control your breathing and relax, which makes a big impact on other parts of your body as well. When breaking the habits and urges that come with addiction, these can be crucial things to know how to do and may improve your mental health as well. Feel free to ask a mental health professional to learn more about mindfulness.


This is a type of mental health therapy that many people aren't familiar with, especially in terms of addiction treatment. During treatment, a mental health professional will hook you up to electrical sensors. This allows you to monitor different parts of your body. It also permits health professionals to see things like brain waves, heart rate, or breathing, and then helps you see what changes you can make that improve the areas of the body you want to control. This may aid you in gaining better body control, and in understanding how things like meditation and breathing techniques can help you control your body and move past urges and cravings. You can discuss this type of treatment with your addiction therapist or other mental health professional, if you are interested.

First Things First

Sometimes, the most important thing to do when starting the mental health healing process isn't necessarily starting substance abuse counseling with mental health professionals. It's often about you being able to acknowledge and accept that you have a problem and that you need help. Many people refuse to admit that they are struggling with addiction, are experiencing drug abuse, or depend on psychoactive drugs. They either are in denial about the effects the addiction is having on their life and mental health, or they say things like, "I'm not addicted. I can stop whenever I want." If you have said this to yourself or a loved one, your may need to seek mental health treatment for addiction. You can likely find an addiction mental health services resource near you that you can seek treatment from. There are plenty of mental health professionals and other health professionals that can be helpful to your care, when you reach out for mental health help.

The American Psychological Association discusses the five stages of change and the importance of understanding this model for behavior change. If an individual is stuck in the precontemplation stage (where they are unaware of problematic behavior or unwilling to make a change), they are not yet ready to commit to recovery. They may not be interested in finding the right addiction therapist to work with just yet.

Of course, even if you see the best addiction therapist in the world, they won't be able to help you unless you are in a place where you are ready to acknowledge and accept your drug abuse or the mental health concerns you are experiencing. When you reach this point, you become open to the things that a mental health professional can help you with. Before you reach this point, you likely will not get a lot of benefit from treatment programs or substance abuse programs, no matter how qualified the health professionals you work with are.

How Do I Find an Addiction Counselor Nearby?

So, if you are ready to find an addiction counselor or mental health professional nearby, we'd like to start by letting you know that you're not alone. Many people struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and you should feel proud of yourself for seeking addiction treatment for your physical and mental health. An addiction therapist may be able to provide you with the mental health treatment that you require. To find an addiction treatment resource, including a qualified mental health professional, in your neighborhood, all you have to do is look.

You may need to work with a team of mental health professionals to reach full recovery. An addiction psychiatrist helps patients when addiction medication is needed as part of the treatment being offered. Generally, psychiatrists manage medications, whereas other mental health professionals do not. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a medical degree that specializes in the mental health field. They can write prescriptions for medications like antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as other options, like addiction medicine, to help limit addiction symptoms.

An addiction therapist has received training in providing mental health therapy to help people manage, overcome, and heal from mental health challenges. Psychologists are mental health professionals that are not able to write prescriptions when they are treating patients, but can provide other types of therapy after a diagnosis. While psychiatrists can provide therapy options, as well, most work closely with psychologists or therapists for that piece of the mental health treatment puzzle. This means that there may be many health professionals dedicated to your care when you seek mental health treatment.

There are also numerous local and nationwide support groups that you can join. It can be incredibly helpful to work through recovery with others who understand what you're going through. You may be able to find an addiction support group in your area, or you can ask your addiction therapist or other mental health professionals about programs near you. These groups can help you talk to and learn from others that have experienced addiction, so you may be able to relate and gain more perspective on how this condition can harm your life and your mental health. Others may also share their addiction medicine experiences with the group, which can provide valuable information on if you want to utilize medicines for your mental health care or not.

Ask for Referrals

You can start by asking your addiction therapist, other mental health professionals, family, or friends if they have a referral for specific substance abuse counselors, addiction medicine physicians, or if they can help you find an addiction treatment center. If you know someone that has personally struggled with drugs or addiction in the past, they may be able to point you in the right direction of reputable addiction counselors, an addiction specialist, or treatment centers with qualified health professionals.

Look Online

A quick online search can provide the information that you're looking for. If you believe that you need to go to an inpatient facility, search for substance abuse rehab, in order to find an addiction rehab resource for you. This can help you find an addiction treatment center to look into further for your mental health addiction treatment. If you want to go somewhere during the day, try to find an addiction or substance abuse treatment center that offers outpatient care. This can be really beneficial because you go several times a week and can usually get both group and individual sessions with mental health professionals. Or you can search for individual mental health professionals or an addiction therapist that can provide substance abuse counseling or addiction medicine services. Searching for find an addiction specialist near me may be able to discover the medical services or mental health treatments you need in your location.

Most drug or alcohol treatment programs, as well as health professionals, encourage patients to participate in support groups following addiction mental health treatment. Support groups such as 12-Step programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) are a vital part of recovery for many individuals. These communities provide a way for individuals to share their stories and connect with others undergoing similar challenges concerning addiction and their mental health. Engaging in support groups allows people to share strategies for managing recovery and provides a sense of accountability. You can search for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or find an addiction support group to locate the meetings closest to you.

Confronting Addiction With BetterHelp

Studies have shown that online therapy can be a useful option for substance abuse counseling for your mental health. One study, published in Clinical Psychology Review, looked at the effectiveness of internet-based therapy in treating tobacco dependence, gambling addiction, and alcohol and other substance use. The study found that online substance abuse counseling reduced addictive behavior, which is in line with similar studies that prove the efficacy of online counseling services for addiction, and a wide range of other mental health issues. The report also notes that internet-based therapy has the potential to remove common barriers to treatment, providing increased accessibility to those who may not otherwise seek help. 

As mentioned above, online substance abuse counseling or mental health support can help you reframe the underlying thoughts that lead to addictive behavior. BetterHelp is an online platform where you can be matched with a qualified mental health professional. If you feel like you don’t have the time to drive to an office and sit in a waiting room, online therapy is a more convenient option. Without waiting to talk to a therapist in person, just reach out to your mental health professional, and they will get back to you as soon as possible. If you or someone you know are having trouble managing addiction or addictive behavior, online therapy can help.

Are You Struggling With Addiction?

BetterHelp offers online counseling services for individuals or couples living in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from those experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“I absolutely love and adore him so much. He has helped me cope with my addiction and stress problems in so many different ways. Even though it's been over the phone or online this entire time and states away, he makes me feel like he is sitting right in front of me talking to me like I'm a real person…”

“So far my experience with Corazon has been great, she has given me a plan to work towards and I feel like I'm going to achieve my goals I set myself on my counselling journey. I'm looking forward to working more with Cora and I feel like she understands what I'm trying to achieve.”


You can overcome and recover from addiction, especially when you reach out for mental health treatment. The journey might be hard, but walking through it with the help of an experienced mental health professional or an addiction therapist can be just the thing to get you through. It's a decision that you won't regret when you are done. Imagine the life you could be living and schedule an appointment with a therapist to start your journey. Whether you opt for in-person or online mental health care, you will find that mental health professionals are ready to provide you with the best addiction medicine treatment plan available for you. Take the first step today.

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