Counseling helps people to understand their drug abuse and addiction, its causes, effects, and the science behind it. It also helps with recognizing triggers and learning relapse prevention skills.
The Importance of Counseling Along with Methadone Addiction Treatment
When undergoing methadone addiction treatment, it is important for treatment centers to also provide counseling services to the their patients. Without counseling an individual may relapse and never come to understand the underlying reason for his or her addiction. Counseling can help those in methadone addiction treatment to understand why recovery is important to improve their health and even safe their life.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one important principle to effective treatment is counseling. Counseling –individual and/or group counseling- and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
How Does Counseling Help Individuals in Methadone Addiction Treatment?
Providing counseling to individuals that are in methadone addiction treatment can make a difference in sustaining recovery. The more they understand the addiction process and how it impacts their life -including the life of their loved ones- the better the chances for them to avoid drug use. Counseling can take place within a group session, one-on-one, or both.
Just like treatment plans for addiction should be tailored to the needs of an individual, so can counseling. Not everyone in methadone addiction treatment share the same exact problems from their daily life. Counseling can help the individual who wants to open up and share with others his or her struggles, while gaining emotional support and knowledge from others in the group. Still many individuals may need one-on-one counseling for other personal reasons.
There are advantages to both forms of counseling. Some of the advantages of receiving counseling in individual and/or group sessions can include:
- Individual counseling can help the person who may be suffering from dual diagnosis. They may have a mental health condition that needs to be addressed separately from the addiction. The individual may suffer from bipolar disorder, severe depression, or other mental condition that is hard for them to talk about within group sessions. Methadone addiction treatment alone may not be effective for people suffering from co-occurring disorders.
- Getting individual counseling may provide more time for the addict to speak more openly to the counselor. This can provide him or her the opportunity to get to the root cause of their addiction. They may figure that the reason for drug use is because of certain problems or issues that they avoided. They found their escape through drug use, but somewhere along the line, forgot or ignored why they started using in the first place.
- With the help of a counselor, an individual can learn ways to cope with conflicts in their personal relationships. They can learn to communicate better with those they love, and most likely hurt due to their drug use. Counseling can help an individual start the mental healing process, and to better understand how conflicts can be resolved without resorting to drug abuse.
- In most instances, group counseling may be more cost effective than individual counseling. If cost is a concern, then looking into group counseling for the most part can be less costly, even free from certain programs. Group counseling is an effective method when used along with methadone addiction treatment.
- A person has the opportunity to build new friendships and lasting relationships through group counseling. In a group counseling session, everyone involved can help to motivate one another and lend emotional support. While individually each person in the group may have different issues, they are all facing the same struggle of overcoming their addiction.
- Listening to others open up and talk about their problems and how they have tried dealing with it, can often give an individual ideas to try something new to deal with their own issues. The ideas for new options to dealing with circumstances can often come from hearing others talk about their own problems.
- Group counseling also offers the opportunity of a challenge and accountability. The new friends and new relationships that can be formed offer encouragement as well. Each person in the group can help keep an eye out for each other to provide the motivation and support needed to meet the challenge of staying clean and drug-free.
Every individual is different and their needs will not be the same. For some, individual counseling may be exactly what they need along with methadone addiction treatment, but for many others, it may be the group counseling that is preferred. Regardless if one or both types of counseling is chosen or offered. The person should choose what they feel most comfortable with.