Addicts often think that they are capable of recovery without counseling – that stopping their consumption of drugs and alcohol is enough. However, there is a difference between recovery and abstinence. In recovery, physical detox is only half the battle.
Recovery is rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is defined as the act of restoring someone to their original state; to the people they were before their addiction. Drugs and alcohol alter the mind and body, so even when an addict stops abusing substances, their state of mind remains dysfunctional. Recovery takes place when the process of rehabilitation is complete – when an addict stops consuming drugs and alcohol, and more importantly, when his or her behavior is reformed.
Counseling is critical
Counseling an addict involves understanding the motivation behind their consumption of drugs or alcohol. Identifying and working on these core issues are essential to a successful rehabilitation process. Psychological rehab involves group therapy, wherein addicts can come together and help each other; and individual therapy, where counselors work closely with the addict and identify how exactly to help them.
Insight and self-awareness is essential for an alcoholic or drug addict to recover and lead a normal life. Counselors provide addicts with the tools to understand their problem and have the willpower to continue avoiding drugs and alcohol. It also involves intervention. This is when addicts come face-to-face with what they have done and the damage they have caused; which aids in them wanting to recover. Without the willingness to recover, addicts run the risk of relapse after physical detox.
In alcoholism, the bottle is almost a metaphor. The substance is an indicator of deeper problems, and counseling is essential to resolving them. This is especially important in the common case of dual-diagnosis, a condition where addiction is coupled with another mental health disorder like depression or schizophrenia.
Counseling is for families too
Family therapy is a form of counseling where families of addicts are provided with support, and this aids in addicts repairing their relationships with their families. Repairing relationships, rebuilding careers and re-earning reputations involve a psychological reform that can only be achieved through counseling.