Addiction is a treatable disorder that individuals can recover from with the right plan. Without counseling and medication assisted treatment (MAT), there is a 10% chance you or a loved one will recover from addiction. With counseling and MAT? 50%. So how does addiction counseling almost double your chance of recovery?
Researching the science of addiction and how various treatments work led to the development of research-based methods to increase a user’s chance of recovery. Treatments are now designed to counteract the substance’s disrupted effects so the user can focus on living a productive and healthy life.
In fact, research shows that when treating addictions, especially opioid addictions, medication should be the first line of treatment, usually combined with some form of behavioral therapy or counseling to increase the chance of recovery.
There is no treatment with a 100% success rate and relapse is common. However, a relapse does not mean the person is a failure. Addiction is extremely tough to beat and is designed to trick your brain and body into believing you need it. Thankfully, modern day treatments are focused on preventing relapse through various means, such as addiction counseling and MAT.
How Addiction Counseling Helps
Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors. Think of good addiction counseling like therapy — it is designed to rework your habits, thoughts, motivations, and mentality to slowly shift those deep rooted behaviors into healthier ones.
It’s not necessarily only going to an AA meeting and expecting to get better through a support group. While attending these meetings and having a strong support group can help keep you accountable. However, addiction counseling is meeting with an educated professional who has experience in guiding those with substance use away from their addiction.
This type of addiction counseling is usually based in behavioral therapies. As the counselor is working with the patient, they’re creating strategies to help the patient modify their attitude and behaviors related to substance use. The goal is to help patients better handle stressful situations and triggers that may cause them to relapse. This way, if a patient is in one of those situations, it’s easier for them to say no to drugs and instead turn to a health outlet.
Behavioral therapies can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people remain in treatment longer.
Specific treatments include the following:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they’re most likely to use drugs.
Using positive reinforcement through contingency management therapy that provides rewards or privileges for remaining drug free. This healthy habit is meant to stimulate your brain’s natural “reward circuit” so you can re-associate feeling good with healthy habits instead of drug use. It’s essentially training your brain to respond positively to being drug free.
Motivational enhancement therapy uses strategies to make the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment.
Family therapy helps the patient and their family address influences on drug use patterns and improve overall family functioning.
Addiction Affects More Than the Patient
Addiction affects more than just the addict — it’s a family-wide issue.
There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with substance abuse in your family. Being involved in the therapy process will help your family develop a way to support you through your recovery and how to handle a relapse, if one does occur. The goal is to educate the family and to create healthier and closer ties within the family unit, so no one feels alone or helpless during the recovery period.
Clinical research demonstrated that resistance to engaging family members into addiction counseling may reflect the family’s influence on the substance use problem. In other words, it is likely that stress caused by family can influence drug use. This is why bringing the family into the equation is so important — it can help the family understand what behaviors may have triggered the substance use, or it can help educate them on how to help their loved one.
It can also help if the patient’s substance use developed from watching their parents, relatives, or sibling using drugs too.
Finding Affordable Addiction Treatment with Counseling
Finding an affordable addiction treatment clinic can be difficult, especially if you’re looking for one that offers both MAT and counseling. The ideal clinic is one who advocates for you and treats you with kindness and respect.
Look for clinics like Direct2Recovery, who are passionate about helping patients succeed. They’re model integrates everything you need into telemedicine and on-site visits, including drug tests, counseling, and MAT using suboxone. All of their treatment plans are made by Dr. Flatley, who meets with and assesses every patient to ensure the treatment plan is right for them.
If you’re still on the fence or want to jump into Direct2Recovery’s MAT and addiction counseling model, contact them today.