Substance abuse counseling with Empower Counseling: In Early Recovery.

For anyone who is just beginning their road to recovery, either for the first time or for twentieth, the first year of recovery is often the most important in determining their long term sobriety. From “Studies reflect that about 40-60% of individuals relapse within 30 days of leaving an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center, and up to 85% relapse within the first year.”. This means that this is the most important time to address the causes of substance abuse and learn healthier coping strategies to replace your Drug of Choice. Whether or not someone seeks additional counseling after leaving inpatient treatment has been found to have a large impact on their likelihood of relapse and the severity of the relapse if it occurs.

The Struggles of Early Recovery: Withdrawals & Cravings

Two of the most common and severe struggles that face individuals early in their recovery are withdrawals and cravings. If you went through a detox program or spent time in an inpatient facility this can be lessened significantly, but individuals often suffer from withdrawal symptoms for up to a year or more. Anyone who has suffered withdrawals can tell you the effect they have upon one’s ability to function and they present one with the constant temptation of imbibing your DOC (drug of choice) to get a moment’s reprieve. But we all know that however satisfying the relief is, it is always followed by more and more severe consequences. And where withdrawals are a physical toll on the body, cravings are a mental one. The gnawing, constant thought or impulse to use can be debilitating if you are not equipped to fight it; and as most addicts use because they lack healthier coping skills they are often poorly equipped to handle this. So a person early in their recovery must put effort into learning new coping strategies and ways that they can survive early recovery before they can even begin the work of identifying the underlying causes.

The Causes of Relapse

In addition to the above, almost every addict has heard or recited to themselves some of the most common causes of relapse. People, Places, and Things. Our environment has a colossal impact on our behaviors and beliefs, and oftentimes individuals leaving detox or inpatient treatments head right back to environments that are far from supportive of recovery. Whether its returning to the home or street that you have spent the last few years using at, or going back around old friends or family that don’t understand the importance of sobriety in your life, being in an environment that is constantly triggering can have a devastating effect on your recovery. In addition to this, another common cause of relapse is not replacing your DOC with new, healthier coping skills. Often people use it in order to not deal with the issues they have faced in life; such as trauma, neglect, or just negative feelings in general. If one doesn’t develop new skills to replace their DOC with, they are more likely to go back to what they know will give them temporary relief.

Substance Abuse Counseling with Empower Counseling: Why Therapy Is Important To Maintain Sobriety

Studies have shown that receiving counseling services, during or after in patient drug treatment, has a significant impact on relapse rates and the severity of relapses when they do occur. This is because counseling looks to process and treat the underlying issues that often drive substance use in the first place, and offers different solutions to one’s problems than what they have been trying already. Something I often ask clients is that if the things we were doing to deal with life were working, would we be where we are right now? And if the answer to that question is no, as it most likely is for people struggling with addiction, then we have to be willing to try new techniques and ways of thinking if we want to see change in our lives. If you are currently struggling with addiction and want a better life for yourself then it might be time to try a new approach to maintaining sobriety.

Adam Elliott, Empower Counseling, ALC, ADC

If you or a loved one have struggled with addiction, reach out to Adam. He can be the bridge between detox and recovery. Adam uses his years of expereince in addiction counseling, plus his training in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), to uncover the issues driving the addiction, and provide you with the tools to create a better life.

Empower Counseling, is a Birmingham area counseling clinic serving, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia, Hoover, and all other surrounding areas, offering in-person and online counseling daily, evenings, and on weekends.

Empower Counseling specializes in ACT for anxiety, depression, and difficult transitions in life. We offer teen counseling, counseling for college students, young adults, and professionals.

Call Adam, directly at 205-874-5438 or call Empower Counseling at 205-730-6570 to get started today.

Post by Adam Elliott

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