Substance Abuse Treatment

Are drugs or alcohol interfering with your life?

Often someone close to you will say that maybe you should cut back or stop. Because you become a different person when you’re using your drug of choice.

Here are some signs you may have a problem:

  • Using more than you intend to
  • Not being able to stop
  • Continuing to use despite negative consequences
  • Isolating yourself from family and friends
  • Spending a lot of time seeking, using and recovering

Maybe it’s more difficult to get up for work and stay focused throughout the day. Or you’re having more conflict with your partner. Perhaps you’re isolating yourself and using alone. Maybe you’re hiding your use from others.

There may have been drug or alcohol problems in your family and you are inheriting the problem. You may feel terrified that you’ll end up just like your dad or mom; brother or sister. You may feel guilt and shame from knowing you’re not giving your loved ones your true self. 

Sometimes you wonder whether you’ll ever be able to cut back or stop. Nothing you’ve tried seems to work. You wonder what kind of a life you have to look forward to. If only you knew what to do and could get real help from somewhere.

About 25 million people in the United States are like you.

In the United States, there are about 250 million people over age 18. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study estimates that 10% of the adult population has struggled with substance abuse at some point in their lives. That’s 25 million people who have been or are currently going through a similar experience to you. That’s a lot of company.

Needless to say, this issue plays no favorites and it’s getting worse. It happens in every demographic category. No matter what gender, sexual orientation, income, education or age – it doesn’t matter. 

The good news is that there are many different types of treatments available. The challenge is finding the best one that works for you. An experienced counselor can explain the different choices and work with you to find the best one.

There are many good tools we can use.

I’m a licensed chemical dependency counselor. I’ve taken a special interest in substance abuse because it affects so many people and causes so much pain and suffering. No one treatment fits all. You are unique and so is the treatment you should receive.

I’ve worked with many clients who came to me with drug and alcohol issues. I’ve also worked with people who came in for something else and, after talking, we realized there was a substance problem.

We will explore your history in detail, making note of relevant vulnerabilities, both genetic and environmental. If you are in a relationship, we may ask your spouse or partner to join us for a time so we may have their perspective.

We will discuss your drug of choice. I will ask you in detail how often you use. I will also ask you when, where and how you use. We will identify your triggers, those known by you and those perhaps yet unknown.

One method I use is motivational interviewing. An important aspect of this approach is something called stages of change. We look at what you are motivated to do and start with where you are. Then we work toward the next stage.

We will discuss other forms of treatment. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery or Narcotics Anonymous, inpatient or outpatient, medical assisted or not. You may be interested in some or none of these.

We will examine your support system or lack thereof. We will seek sources of support wherever they may be.

If you are actively using, you must detox or become sober before counseling can be effective. There is little benefit to counseling unless you are able to think clearly.

I will hold you accountable for what you agree to do. However, I will do it with compassion and without judgment. We will also work on motivation to do more over time, without any pressure.

Seeking help is courageous.

I don’t judge you. I admire you for the courage you’re showing by seeking help. I want to know who you are. I want us to work through, together, any shame, guilt or stigma you may have. 

Also, I don’t like labels. Terms like addict and alcoholic, and many others, are not helpful and I don’t use them. All I see is someone who needs help and is seeking it.

Substance abuse is frequently paired with another problem such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. If that’s the case, we will work on both issues at the same time.

What if I relapse?

Relapse can occur before you realize it. The decision to use comes before the actual action. We’ll discover how you made that decision and use that data to get back on track.

Relapse is part of the process and it happens to just about everyone. If it happens to you, we will view it as progress, as getting closer to your goal.

I don’t want to quit completely. I’m just not ready to stop.

That’s OK, you don’t have to stop. You just have to want to be better than you are. We’ll figure out what you’re ready to do and start there.

I won’t be able to socialize again.

Yes you will. You’ll just socialize differently. With people who respect your needs and are not triggers for you. That may mean redefining friendships and setting healthy boundaries with family members.

Withdrawal is terrible.

Yes it certainly can be. But there are medical options that can minimize the symptoms and lessen the discomfort.

I’ve been to rehab and it didn’t work.

We’ll explore why it didn’t work so we understand what was missing. And what matters more is that you try again.

You can do it.

One of the best motivators is success. Reducing your usage and experiencing the benefit is often a great incentive to keep going. One seemingly small accomplishment can lead to others that cumulatively add up to real change. I know because I’ve seen it.

What’s most important is your life.

This issue isn’t just about using less or stopping. What’s just as important, maybe more so, is the life you have and the life you want to live. We must integrate other aspects of your life, such as relationships, family, friends and work. Your whole life must fit together in a way that brings you overall happiness and contentment.

I believe I’m uniquely qualified to help you with this due to my broad counseling education, training and experience. I will relentlessly encourage and support you. I will be your advocate no matter what happens. 

I’m here to help you.

Most of all I want you to know that there is hope. And I believe I can help you find it and keep it. Call me for a free, confidential consultation.