Syringes to Sobriety

Stories and Advice from a Real Heroin Addict
Individual Counseling

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is a great option during recovery.  Most inpatient and outpatient programs offer individual counseling to attendees.  However, it is important to find ongoing individual counseling after completing inpatient and/or outpatient.  If inpatient and outpatient are not an option, I strongly suggest scheduling individual counseling sessions as you start your recovery journey.

Licensed independent substance abuse counselors (LISACs) specialize in treating substance Individual Counselingabuse disorders. By ‘treating’ I mean ‘facilitating recovery’ from substance abuse disorders. Unfortunately, in the same sense that bipolar disorder is not curable, substance abuse disorders are not either.  Treatments for psychological disorders like these, whether in pill form or therapy, manage symptoms of the disorder. Treatment aims to prevent future relapse in the drug abuser the same way it aims to prevent future epic mood swings in the bipolar.

Shop around.  Each state has different requirements to become LISAC certified. You can check your state’s requirements here: Always meet with a few different counselors before deciding who to schedule sessions with. You are the consumer in this situation. If you do not feel comfortable talking to your counselor, therapy will have been for not. Find someone you can trust and try to be completely honest.

LISACs can refer a Psychiatrist, if needed. Unlike counselors, psychiatrists can prescribe medications for underlying psychological disorders. Many drug users are self-medicating to cope with these disorders. If this is the case, it is extremely important to see a psychiatrist that can prescribe the correct medication.  Again, seek out a psychiatrist you can be honest with, especially about your drug use, so he or she is cognizant of avoiding potential drug interactions.

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