Substance Use and Addictions Counseling 

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“Lately I’ve been struggling with feeling overwhelmed and depressed. I didn’t think my drinking was a problem because I was able to control it, and it wasn’t affecting my work, but it’s starting to make me feel bad about myself. My friends and family have started making comments that I need to cut back which has created some shame and embarrassment. I don’t want to keep getting stuck in this cycle of anxiety and depression. I’d like to talk to someone, but I don’t know where to start.” 

Are You Caught In An Unrelenting Cycle Of Addiction?

Is drinking or substance use slowly stealing your time and energy, disrupting your relationships, or affecting your mental and physical health? Do you feel like you could summon the strength to transform yourself if only you had healthier, more effective means of coping?

Perhaps you see the toll that substance use is taking on you or your loved ones, but you can’t seem to interrupt the pattern—even for your own sake. Or maybe you’ve tried overcoming addiction by joining AA, NA, or a church support group, but you haven’t had much success and you wonder if your behavior is driven by something deeper. 

 

Addiction Can Look Different For Everyone

For instance, you may be overwhelmed with a profound sense of despair and guilt. You probably have a hard time tolerating intense emotions like fear, anger, and even happiness. The substance use or drinking, itself, may be causing symptoms or mood swings you’re unaware of that put others on guard. 

Day to day, you may feel more anxious, depressed, or fearful, which affects everything from work performance to your self-esteem. And in social situations, you likely have to drink or use just to feel comfortable around others. 

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Fortunately, working with a substance abuse counselor at Key Counseling Group can help you interrupt the cycle of addiction. Together, we can work on healing whatever is fueling your behavior while giving you healthier ways of coping. Over time, you can move past the guilt and shame and learn to love and care for yourself more while building a fulfilling life worth embracing.

Addiction Is Extremely Common, Particularly In Our Society. 

Even if someone does not meet the criteria for a diagnosable substance abuse disorder, most people have at least some experience drinking or using to “solve” a problem. Unfortunately, we’re part of a culture that glorifies drug and alcohol use as a way to deal with adversity.

For instance, television, movies, public advertising, and even friends can fuel the idea that a stiff drink is all we need after a stressful day of work. As a society, we overlook the importance of learning how to set boundaries, communicate effectively, explore emotions, and process pain in healthy ways. 

This inevitably sends the message that we should bottle up emotions and express ourselves only after reaching a breaking point. As a result, many people seek relief in the nearest thing possible, which is often drugs or alcohol.

 

Substance Use Can Make It Hard To Course-Correct On Your Own 

When caught up in the cycle of addiction, the brain’s natural fight or flight survival mechanism takes over, controlling everything to the point that it impairs rational thinking. So breaking out of the cycle alone can be difficult. And because our culture glorifies substance use, there are negative reinforcements everywhere that can be hard to navigate without help. 

Fortunately, our community-based approach to overcoming addiction offers you a safe, nonjudgmental environment that supports sobriety. Together, we’ll work to establish accountability, reduce your sense of isolation, and explore any emotions or experiences that are a part of your story.

Substance Abuse Counseling Can Change Your Life In Incredible Ways

A lot of folks struggling with addiction or substance abuse feel misunderstood, vulnerable, and cast aside, which is why counseling can be so helpful. Therapy offers you a place to feel seen, heard, and accepted despite past behavior—no matter how destructive. It gives you a safe space in which to name and understand emotions—to work through regrets, build self-esteem, and let go of guilt and shame.

Working with a substance abuse counselor can teach you how to cope with unavoidable situations, such as going to a wedding or other event where people might be drinking. Therapy also shows you how to navigate sobriety in a society that places alcohol and drug use on a pedestal while ignoring its dangers.

 

What Do Our Substance Abuse Treatment Sessions Look Like?

 

We’ll start with a free consultation followed up with an email containing a link to our client portal. There, you can sign any necessary documents and schedule your first appointment. In our initial session, we’ll work to gain a better understanding of your personal history, the concerns you have, and how long you’ve been struggling with the issue. We can also discuss your feelings about therapy and establish what your goals are.

In subsequent sessions, we’ll help you understand why you’ve been using drugs or alcohol and how to alleviate the issues responsible for addiction. That often involves identifying root causes (such as anxiety or trauma) and providing education on chemical dependency, mental health, and the stigma surrounding both. 

If you’re still on the fence about quitting, counseling can focus, instead, on the impact that drugs and alcohol may be having on you—or your loved ones—while helping you imagine what a life free of addiction could look like. At the same time, we can explore community resources, support groups, and potential referrals if obtaining a clarified mental health diagnosis would be helpful.

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Some Of The Tools We Use For Overcoming Addiction

Our substance abuse counselors at Key Counseling Group offer a person-centered, attachment-focused, strength-based approach to addiction recovery. We also use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and DBT-informed therapy—all of which can help you understand the link between your environment, feelings, and actions.

Motivational Interviewing can help you design healthy, alternative coping strategies and inspire you to keep pushing through the maintenance phase of change. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and attachment theories provide skills that address underlying contributing factors as well as destructive relationship patterns.

And person-centered, strengths-based theories can help you feel connected and understood if you’re still not sure about discontinuing use. That said, we’ll also provide you with the tools and resources you need to stop using if you choose. 

At the end of the day, substance abuse counseling sessions will offer you effective communication skills for asserting yourself, setting boundaries, and learning to be happy with saying “No.” You’ll gain powerful tools for managing stress and anxiety that will help reduce the intensity of cravings. And once we have identified triggers, we can teach you how to cope with high-risk situations to discourage relapse. 

At Key Counseling Group, we understand the impact that substance abuse can have on your life, but there is hope. Therapy can help you work through the core issues that have brought you to this point while giving you the tools to change in the long term. 

Whether it’s underlying trauma, self-esteem issues, or a co-occurring mental health diagnosis fueling your addiction, our counselors will offer you compassionate guidance and connect you with resources within the community to build ongoing support for transforming your life. 

 

Perhaps You’re Considering Substance Abuse Counseling, But You Still Have Some Concerns…

 

My family taught me that therapy and expressing emotions are a waste of time, so I may have trouble opening up.

Sharing your feelings with a stranger is scary enough, but it can be especially tough if you’ve ever been discouraged by family. What you’re doing takes incredible strength and courage—and we understand that the decision to stop drinking or using can feel like you’re falling off of a cliff sometimes. 

That’s why we’ll strive to be there with you through every step of the process. We’ll make sure we’re setting frequent goals, checking in, and surrounding you with resources for continued support as you gradually process feelings that you’ve been unable to share in the past.

 

I’m not sure if I want to stop drinking/using yet.

 

Many people who enter substance abuse counseling are not 100 percent sure if they are ready to change. After all, drinking or using frequently serves as some kind of protective function, so cutting off that attachment can be scary. 

However, part of counseling is uncovering and understanding the motivations for drug and alcohol addiction. Even if you’re not 100 percent sure what you want to do, therapy gives you the chance to see what would happen if you replaced the void with healthy coping skills, defined boundaries, and a community that supports sobriety.

 

I’m worried you’ll suggest AA, which I don’t think is right for me.

Our substance abuse and addiction counselors want to support you in your journey of recovery in whatever way works best for you. We’ll equip you with powerful coping skills and safety nets that you can use to safeguard your long-term sobriety on your own. 

While AA and other 12-step programs have proven very effective for many folks in recovery, they’re not always a good fit for everyone. If you are on the fence about which addiction support group to join, there are many other options we can explore to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.

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Let Us Help You Break The Cycle Of Addiction

If you’re ready to see what your life could look like without addiction looking over your shoulder, we can help. Please contact us at 678-400-9477 for your free, 30-minute consultation to see how substance abuse counseling may be able to free you from drug and alcohol addiction.

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Jennifer Haire, LMSW
Jennifer@keycounselingatl.com