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Rehab and Counselling Are Important When Recovering from Addiction

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Drug and alcohol addiction comes in many forms, as do the people who struggle with it. Whenever a person realises that they have a substance abuse problem, this person may seek help from other people, and may ask themselves: ‘Is there a rehab center near me?’ Although most people are aware of the importance of substance abuse rehabilitation, some people overlook the importance of psychological counselling.

Why are these important?

Rehabilitation and therapy work side-by-side in helping a person with an addiction achieve long-term sobriety. Rehabilitation centres are specifically designed to help alcohol and drug addicts restore their lives through detoxification and treatment, while psychological counselling will deal with the long-term process of recovery.

Addiction and substance abuse is a psychological, mental and physical disease. This is why having therapy together with rehabilitation is crucial in the effort to help people with addiction recognise the emotional triggers of their drug and alcohol addiction, and how to establish effective coping mechanisms.

What is the goal of rehabilitation and therapy?

In most recovery programmes, therapy starts after an individual has gone through the whole process of detoxification and before they return to their normal lives. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy are mostly focused on a person’s behaviour to help change their behaviours and attitudes towards substance abuse, cultivate a healthier lifestyle, and increase treatment engagement.

Here are some of the common types of rehabilitation therapy used for alcohol and drug abuse:

• Motivational interview – This type of therapy is typically used before a person starts treatment to prepare themselves, and to begin changing their behaviour. It also helps the person remember and identify their values when tempted by drugs or alcohol.

• Multidimensional family therapy – This type of therapy requires the person to be together with their loved ones in therapy sessions to discuss how their substance abuse affect their family, and to be able to figure out how can the person’s family can encourage their sobriety.

• Contingency management – This type of therapy encourages the person’s sobriety by focusing on clear rewards and positive reinforcement.

• Cognitive-behavioural – This type of therapy encourages the person to identify and determine how to handle situations that stimulate substance abuse.

Participation in these types of therapy throughout drug and alcohol rehabilitation is one of the most effective ways to maintain a person’s sobriety. These can help them recognise their flaws in behaviour and thoughts that lead to bad decisions regarding drug and alcohol use. Additionally, it can also educate persons with addiction about how they can positively transform those behaviours and thoughts for them to become more healthy and productive.

What are the benefits?

Effective psychological counselling is good for any person who’s going through the process of substance abuse rehabilitation, but it can also be beneficial for those people who are struggling with relapse. Here are some key benefits of rehabilitation and therapy:

• Self-awareness – Focused attention and positive regard can initially make a person in rehab feel uncomfortable, but this will develop self-esteem and will turn into a positive motivator to stay sober.

• Repair damaged relationships – Substance abuse will have adverse effects on personal relationships. A competent therapist will act as a mediator to assist in rebuilding a sustainable relationship.

• Stress management – Therapy can help a person learn ways to effectively manage stress without thinking of substance use.

• Develop communication skills – During therapy, a person with an addiction will be in a therapeutic relationship where they will be validated, listened to, and encouraged to identify and be honest with their feelings.

Closing thoughts

The adverse effects of substance abuse on someone’s life can be powerful. However, it is still conceivable to counter those effects with an effective rehabilitation and therapy programme, regardless of how severe or prolonged the addiction is. If you know someone who suffers from drug and alcohol abuse, it’s always never too late to seek professional help.

Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh. 

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