Prescription Drug Addiction – Why Counselling and Therapy Are Essential

Written by on March 10, 2019 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 0 Comments

Prescription drug addiction is more common than you think. Kicking off the habit is a major achievement for anybody but there is still plenty of work ahead of you. Drug detox is only the first step of an opioid-free life and healthy mental state. Therapy and counselling are necessary through which patients learn how to avoid and resist temptations and cravings. For many former addicts, counselling is the only long-term solution to remain clean and avoid a relapse. There are many types of therapies that help in the process, some of the most effective being cognitive behavioural therapy, family counselling and so on. When addiction is the result of underlying mental health conditions, psychotherapy is also a viable solution that might help remediate the root of the issue.

Why former addicts need counselling and therapy?

Opioid addiction goes beyond the physical dependence on the drug. It also manifests in different social and psychological contexts and getting physically clean is not enough to avoid a relapse. Many former addicts might feel cravings in one or more of the following situations.

  • Life stress;
  • Different social and environmental changes (like interacting with former suppliers or visiting a certain place);
  • Social contexts, especially those where people still use drugs.

To eliminate the former addicts’ cravings in such situations and lower their relapse chances, specialists recommend counselling and therapy sessions. Similar sessions are due to teach the former addict how to control their cravings and how not to fall prey once again to addiction. There are multiple types of therapy that have been proven to work wonderfully in case of drug addiction. A counsellor will most likely be able to tailor a therapy plan that suits your own situation and that might show higher success rates.

Individual or group therapy?

Many former addicts wonder which one is the best therapy form in their case. In all cases, any type of therapy is better than not attending such sessions at all. But let’s face it, what type of therapy you choose makes a difference when it comes to successfully kicking off addiction. While some say that group therapy works best, it has been proven on multiple occasions that behavioural or family therapy sessions work superior. Addiction support groups might be effective in a way in which peers with similar problems to yours share experiences and small accomplishments in their journeys, but these groups are not led by professional counsellors and therapists.

Outpatient or residential treatment?

Separating the addict from their addiction environment is always more effective than residential treatments and therapies. Counsellors have special strategies to help patients stay away from drugs once they return to places where they used to use. Outpatient sessions take place in a controlled and appropriate environment for former users and they are also far more affordable than inpatient therapy sessions. The usual setting to kick off prescription drug addiction are outpatient facilities.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most effective ways in which patients can learn how to recognize patterns that lead to drug use, and thus, how to avoid such patterns. In these sessions, counsellors teach their clients how to replace negative thoughts and feelings that might lead to the need of using drugs with positive ones. This contributes to reducing relapse chances by forcing the patient to concentrate on other mental processes. While resetting your brain might seem difficult, once you learn this skill, it will last you a lifetime and can be successfully used in emergency times.

Couples and family therapy

Substance abuse is a matter that affects the life of your family as well. All interactions and relationships between you and your family members but also between them are modified. Counselling methods that involve all the other family members seem to also show positive results. Patients should try to involve other family members in their recovery due to a series of reasons:

  • Their inclusion might be a strong motivator for many to stick to their therapy schedule and don’t give up their sessions.
  • They can also benefit from these sessions, given the fact that your addiction also took a toll on them.
  • Family sessions might bring to surface deeper issues that have to be solved.

According to a series of studies, patients in family sessions have lower relapse rates and enjoy reconciled relationships with their loved ones.

Maintenance therapy

Many don’t realize that opioid addiction is a chronic illness. Generally, people are very likely to relapse. Given that fact, former patients will have to follow all their lives counselling sessions and enjoy proper medication. Avoiding relapses is a big part of maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy involves replacing the prescription drug used by the patient with a milder version, in decreasing concentrations, until placebo medication is administered. This will prevent the patient to relapse in the future and have higher success rates in treating their addiction.

While may sound effective on its own, counselling sessions should be followed together with it. Just like in the case of any other recovery plan, prescription drug recovery and maintenance should also be part of the opioid recovery journey.

Choosing a counsellor

Choosing a counsellor able to help you in the prescription drug struggle might be initially difficult. However, ask your family and friends to help you research the options that you have. search locally, and research online what the general opinion on different counsellors is. You should, however, see if the counsellor or therapist is an Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist. These specialists will be able to help you more in your journey. Psychotherapy is an important part of the drug recovery process and you should seek help from specialists with similar training and accreditation. Addiction takes many forms and having a professional able to help you kick off the habit. Professional counsellors are able to make their patients understand the mechanisms behind addiction and this helps patients have higher rates of success in their recovery journeys. No one should struggle with prescription drug addiction on their own. This is where counsellors intervene.

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