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Does Counseling Work For Drug Addiction?

Drug counseling can successfully help treat substance abuse disorders by working with a therapist. Learn more here.

What Is Drug Counseling?

Drug counseling is used to treat a person’s dependency on psychoactive substances with medicine or psychotherapy. These substances include prescription drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis, or amphetamines. Drug counseling assists people in quitting both substance and process abuse.

Drug Counseling Definition

Drug counseling is a type of addiction treatment that teaches patients how to stop using drugs after becoming dependent on them. Drug abuse counseling assists addicted individuals in ending their drug seeking behavior while also helping them to function in society.

Why Do I Need Counseling?

Physical dependence on drugs or alcohol is only one aspect of a substance use disorder. The danger of relapsing is considerable, even after detox when the body is no longer reliant. Drug treatment facilities assist patients in recovering from addiction disorders and preventing relapse into old habits.

Some psychological and societal elements have the potential to behave as potent relapse risks. Counseling assists in overcoming cravings and dealing skillfully with these risks.

Does Counseling Work for Drug Addiction?

Counseling does help with drug addiction. Any program for people struggling with substance abuse recovery and therapy must include some type of counseling. Many types of drug abuse counseling help people struggling with drug addiction and ensure they stay sober.

Counseling facilities also incorporate psychotherapy into their drug addiction treatment plans to treat the mental health issues that might lead to the abuse of prescription medicines and other substances.

How Does Counseling Help Drug Addicts?

Stopping substance use presents a variety of challenges. Alcohol and drug abuse alter the brain’s self-control-related regions.1

How certain brain parts operate changes when a person continues to use drugs or alcohol, making it difficult to stop or effectively regulate compulsive substance use. Counseling helps a person to retrain how their brain functions after drug use. Here are some ways in which counseling helps drug addicts:


  • Exploring the causes of drug use
  • Sharing and processing feelings
  • Increasing the awareness of behavior patterns
  • Learning healthy coping skills
  • Identifying potential relapse risks
  • Sustaining sobriety by creating a long-term plan

Types of Therapy That May Be Included in Drug Counseling Sessions

Several therapies are employed during addiction counseling to assist persons suffering from a substance use disorder. The following include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a helpful treatment method because it can be utilized for many different types of addiction. CBT assists people in identifying harmful behavioral patterns.2

It aids in the development of coping mechanisms and the identification of potential risks for addicts. This therapy can be combined with other therapeutic techniques to treat drug addiction.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT assists addicts in finding constructive ways to manage stress, control their emotions, and improve relationships.

DBT has been modified to treat various mental health issues even though it was first developed to address borderline personality disorder (BPD). Drug counseling centers use this therapy to treat addicts with underlying mental disorders.3

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback

Biofeedback and neurofeedback are intended to improve patients’ ability to cope with their current circumstances, and typically numerous treatment sessions are necessary.

With the help of electrodes positioned on the scalp, neurofeedback monitors the functioning of the central nervous system by measuring and controlling brainwave activity. The goal of neurofeedback training is to enable the individual to alter cortical activity patterns and normalize brain function.

Meditation and Mindfulness

A form of psychotherapy known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines cognitive therapy, meditation, and the development of mindfulness. A method of MBCT is meditation. Self-directed or guided meditation can help people become more conscious of their bodies, thoughts, and breathing.

Holistic Therapies

A type of therapy known as holistic therapy deals with the whole person. This therapy combines spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Its objective is to assist people in learning more about themselves on each level.

It employs an evidence-based approach and a comprehensive framework and is frequently customized to meet the particular requirements of the addicted individual. There are numerous variations of holistic therapy, and it frequently borrows from different types of therapy as well.

Other Therapies

Multidimensional family therapy is another type of therapy that may be used in addiction counseling sessions. Multidimensional family therapy has been established for families and adolescents with drug abuse issues. This type of therapy aims to enhance overall family functioning by addressing various factors that may be influencing their drug addiction problems.4

Common Forms of Drug Counseling

Drug counseling helps addicted individuals understand what the cause of their addiction is. Addiction counseling also assists individuals in acquiring coping mechanisms for difficult circumstances and learning to identify relapse risk factors. Common forms of drug counseling will be detailed below.

Individual Counseling

The symptoms of an individual’s addiction and the areas of their life that substance usage has affected are addressed in individual drug counseling. This kind of drug counseling helps people keep up with their ongoing recovery plans.

Any drug rehabilitation program must include individual therapy, as it deals with drug addiction’s psychological and emotional issues. Addicts who receive this kind of counseling develop a certain level of self-awareness that they can utilize as a tool to prevent relapse.

Group Counseling

The goals of group counseling therapy are to reduce drug abuse and accelerate recovery in two or more people. A certified therapist will lead the group counseling session. Group therapy provides members with information regarding the healing process.

This type of counseling provides peer support and inspiration to help participants keep their recovery goals in mind. Participants in group therapy have the chance to observe the problems that others in recovery face and their approaches to tackling those problems.

Family Counseling

Every family member’s ability to operate can be negatively impacted by addiction. A therapy strategy called family counseling aims to leverage the family’s strengths and skills to help them maintain a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.

Family counseling frequently takes the form of education in programs for drug addiction. Allowing family members to raise questions and start a conversation can be therapeutic in and of itself.

Drug Counseling at San Diego Detox

Contact San Diego Detox if you or a loved one suffers from drug addiction. San Diego Detox offers innovative, compassionate, and caring addiction treatment through proper research-based programs.

What to Expect in the Drug Counseling Session?

Drug counseling programs often include group and one-on-one sessions, which are offered at least once a week and regularly. Typically, individual sessions take forty-five or sixty minutes. Group sessions last a little longer are typically closer to ninety minutes.

Qualifications of our Drug Counselors

Drug counselors at San Diego Detox hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in behavioral science and related mental health professions. San Diego Detox drug counselors are also CADC-certified.

Contact a Licensed Counselor Today at San Diego Detox

Consult with a licensed drug abuse counselor at San Diego Detox and start your journey to recovery. San Diego Detox’s goal is to guide our clients to complete recovery. We also accept most major PPO insurance. With the help of our caring staff and research-proven therapies, our clients make significant progress toward living lives free from addiction.