Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling


Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling

At Silver Lining Counseling in Charlotte, one of our specialties is providing substance abuse and addiction counseling.  Counseling is extremely helpful because it can help you identify what is triggering your alcohol or drug use, and can teach you healthy ways to cope with feelings and life stressors.  Here are just some of the ways counseling can help you reduce or stop drinking or using drugs

1.        Counseling can help you identify ways to reduce stress

Stress is probably the number one trigger that can lead to substance abuse.  Whatever the cause of the stress, stress can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and lead you to want use substances to relieve those feelings of stress.  At Silver Lining, we can help you find healthy ways of managing your stress, whether that is setting boundaries in relationships, making changes at work, or using breathing and meditation techniques to reduce the physical feelings of stress. 

2.       Counseling can help you identify triggers that lead to drug or alcohol use

Stress is not the only trigger that can cause someone to use substances.  Most people who are trying to cut down or stop using substances have internal and external triggers.  Internal triggers are irrational or unhealthy thoughts or feelings that lead to drinking, and external triggers are things in our environment that trigger thoughts of using such as bars and restaurants, relationships, or time of day.  It’s important that we help you identify your triggers so that you can avoid what you can, or change the way you are interacting and responding to triggers.   

3.       Counseling can help you express your feelings in healthy ways

A lot of people use substances in order to escape uncomfortable feelings.  However, drinking or using drugs does not get rid of or resolve those feelings, it simply covers them up temporarily.  Learning how to express your feelings in healthy ways is an important part of the recovery process.   I can help you learn how to express your feelings in healthy ways so that your feelings don’t trigger you to use.

4.       Counseling can help you learn to think in more positive, healthy ways

Another really important part of substance abuse counseling is identifying irrational or unhealthy thought patterns that trigger uncomfortable feelings like shame or depression.  We can help you identify unhealthy thoughts and then help you restructure them into healthy thoughts that lead to more reasonable and healthy feelings.  This technique is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, and is one of the most well-known and well-studied counseling theories.

5.       Counseling can help you learn coping skills to prevent substance abuse

Another part of substance abuse counseling that is very important, is developing coping skills that you can use in specific situations in order to prevent drinking or drinking too much.  Many people have to be in situations where they are around alcohol, and this can be stressful and uncomfortable, especially if they are trying not to drink.  I can help you identify ways to handle the situation in order to reduce the likelihood of drinking or drinking too much.

6.       Counseling can help you identify if your drinking or drug use is substance abuse or addiction

Addiction is a medical disease that develops after someone has been abusing substances and the brain starts to depend on the substance to feel normal.  If you are unsure if you have addiction, I can help you evaluate your substance use behavior and help you identify if you have any symptoms of addiction.  If you think you might have an addiction, give us a call and schedule a free phone consultation so we can help you get on the right path. 

7.       Counseling can help you examine your family history to see if there is any genetic predisposition to addiction

We now know that addiction is a genetic disease.  People that have addiction in their family have a much higher chance of developing addiction, especially if one of their parents has struggled with addiction.  Understanding your genetic predisposition gives you knowledge and power in making healthy decisions about your own substance use. 

8.       Counseling can help you identify other untreated mental health symptoms that might be underlying the addiction

Many people who are abusing substances or who have addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.  Having another mental health disorder can make it difficult to stop using substances because the symptoms of the other disorder can trigger substance use.  If you think you may have symptoms of another mental health disorder, it’s important to see a therapist who can treat both the mental health and substance abuse or addiction issues.  At Silver Lining, we are trained to help you manage the substance abuse and any mental health issues that might be there as well.

9.       Counseling can help you increase your self-worth and self-esteem

One of the most important things we do for our patients at Silver Lining is help them increase their self-worth and self-esteem.  Everyone deserves to feel valuable and worthy, regardless of the mistakes they have made.  Not feeling worthy or good enough can lead you to use substances again and again.  At Silver Lining, we can help you increase your self-worth and self-esteem so that you can start to believe in yourself and know that you can meet your goals and live the life you want.   

10.   Counseling can help you increase your motivation and provide accountability

Research shows that it is important to have accountability if you are trying to stop using substances.  We can help you find the motivation you need in order to meet your goals, and can also provide accountability by following up with you each session on how you are progressing toward your goals.  You are in charge of your goals and treatment plan, we are here to support you in meeting those goals.