Knowing how to find a drug rehab counselor isn’t something that is public knowledge. To this day, addiction is a disease that has been stigmatized, largely by people who simply haven’t researched its causes and effects. In fact, for decades, drug addiction has been viewed as more as a criminal act than a disease. Because of this stigma and society’s dim view of it, few resources were available on the topic and individuals suffering from a substance addiction were reluctant to reach out to others for help. Finding themselves scared to seek help or answers for fear of landing in jail, they suffered in silence.
Thankfully, we’ve at last seen a shift in the public mindset and the acknowledgement that addiction is a public health crisis. Today, drug rehab facilities are viewed as a safe place for treatment of those suffering from addiction or substance abuse. These people can now reach out to these facilities without fear of incarceration or societal judgments.
The view within the justice system has changed as well and today, judges will offer an addiction treatment program in place of jail, choosing recovery treatment in lieu of a jail sentence.
This amounts to nothing less than a cultural shift that now supports helping individuals suffering from addiction rather than punishing them. With this shift, more professionals are dedicated to recovery treatment and rehabilitation. This is good news for anyone suffering from addiction.
Another benefit is that there are now more people who have chosen careers as a drug rehab counselor.
What Is A Drug Rehab Counselor?
Drug rehab counselors are specially trained and schooled to help people that suffer from addiction, and focus solely on this group. This specialized training allows drug rehab counselors to be a key component of any successful drug rehabilitation program.
Drug rehab counselors have gone through unique training to treat substance abuse, co-occurring disorders such as mental illness, and other behavioral health issues. Behavioral counselors will use a range of therapies to treat disorders and play the role of a therapist. They are there to listen to a client’s concerns and issues and to help coach them on better ways to deal with their issues and feelings. Part of the recovery process includes re-training the brain to deal with emotional trauma, abuse, depression, anger or self-esteem issues.
Group therapy as well as individual therapy provides behavioral counselors the opportunity to teach people the needed techniques to help change a client’s behavior according to their goals. The focus is to work with the client to reinforce good behaviors and try to eliminate the destructive behavioral tendencies.
Drug rehab counselors work like most behavioral counselors, but they’re specially trained to work only with people who are suffering from a substance addiction. This special training makes them uniquely qualified to help their patients identify the behaviors that lead to the addiction, as well as teaching them ways to better resolve conflicts and manage the stresses, emotions and issues that helped feed their addiction.
Therapy techniques are custom tailored to each client’s specific issues and will differ from client to client. Since each individual has their own history and set of circumstances as well as a unique personality, no one approach works for all.
As you can see, having the right drug rehab counselor can play a big role in the client’s recovery process.
Unfortunately, most people simply don’t know how to find a drug rehab counselor that’s a good match for them. Finding a good match is pretty important to the recovery process so it’s worth your time to do some research.
How Can A Counselor Help Me?
Ask any recovering addict and they’ll tell you – a good drug rehab counselor not only help their clients achieve sobriety, they help them maintain, their sobriety.
Getting clean is one thing and, relatively speaking, is easy. Staying clean is much harder. Drug rehabilitation has a high relapse rate when a plan is not followed. The plan includes ongoing counseling, support group attendance, adherence to the 12-step plan (or something similar) and accountability – not just to oneself, but to your drug rehab counselor. Unfortunately, most people simply don’t know how to find a drug rehab counselor that’s a good match for them and choose the first one that comes along.
A drug rehab counselor can help you achieve and maintain sobriety, but they have to get to know you. There must be a good connection if there’s any hope of a mutual understanding which serves as the foundation of that relationship as well as your recovery.
A good drug rehab counselor will dig deep into the reasons for your addiction, focusing on your behavior surrounding the substance(s) you abuse. They will work hard to understand what led you to substance abuse and will use that to custom-tailor a range of treatment options for you.
After you’ve achieved sobriety, they’ll work with you to maintain it. This process often spans years, even decades, as any human is subject to moments of weakness. They understand the risk factors, the relapse triggers and are there for you when you’re having a moment of weakness.
In short, you should choose your drug rehab counselor with the same careful consideration you’d use to choose a spouse.
What To Look For In A Drug Rehab Counselor
There’s an old saying – it takes one to know one. That certainly applies here. Experts agree that it is wise to choose a counselor who has gone through the addiction and recovery process, although this does not mean the only good counselors are ones with a previous addiction. There are many things to consider when looking for a drug rehab counselor, and you should be conscious of the attributes that are important to you.
The first consideration is that you must feel comfortable with them. You must feel so comfortable with them that you can tell them anything. Honesty with your counselor about your feelings, cravings, frustrations, and behavior is only way to address your issues. If you do not have that level of comfort, or feel that you’re being judged, you will be tempted to leave out important details. Relapse is more likely because you’re holding back thoughts, feelings, emotions and stresses. You need to be with a person with whom you feel confident and comfortable sharing your most intimate thoughts.
Your drug rehab counselor should be available day or night. Since addiction never sleeps, your counselor should be prepared for phone calls at 3AM. If you need to make that late night call, your counselor shouldn’t make you feel like you’re disturbing him/her, but instead, offer you praise for making the tough choice to call in the first place.
Get this part addressed during your interview with your counselor – find out what is his availability after hours. If he’s a 9-5 kind of guy, move on.
How To Find A Drug Rehab Counselor
There have never been more resources available to addicts than there are today. The drug rehabilitation industry is a large community with many options for providers and services. You can choose from a wide range of medical detox facilities to inpatient residential programs, outpatient programs, support groups, gender specific sober living and the list goes on and on.
In short, there’s no shortage of trained individuals out there who are ready to provide help for you. If you are already involved in a rehabilitation program, talk with your contacts at your program to see if they work with a specific drug rehab counselor. They should be able to give you guidance on counselors in your area, or may even have counselors you can utilize through your program.
Ask others who have gone through the recovery process for a reference – if anyone knows how to find a drug rehab counselor, it’s someone that’s gone through the process themselves, right? Call around to different rehab or sober living facilities to see if they can make a recommendation.
Last but not least, search online. There are many websites online that can help direct you towards a counselor near you. HealthGrades.com is only one of many, but they have a full directory of substance abuse counselors organized by state and city. Often times, counselors and physicians will leave a little excerpt on the website about their philosophy and approach to substance abuse. This can help you to choose a counselor that aligns with your rehab program.
Take a moment to do an honest self-assessment about your personality, your needs, and what you really want from a counselor. If you know how to find a drug rehab counselor, you’ll be able to put your mind at ease knowing that you’ve been armed with the information needed to make the right decision for you.