Signs that you need a counselor as an addict

If you are struggling with any kind of addiction, and you want to break free, the first step is acknowledging that you are addicted. At some point, you might feel that you need someone who understands what you are going through.

You may not even mind opening up to the person because you also need someone to talk to. Usually, the person who fits the role is the counselor.

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Working closely with a counselor as an addict makes it less challenging to combat addiction from start to finish. Here are some of the reasons why you might need a counselor.

You want to know more about addiction

When you find yourself wanting to learn more about addiction, then it is a sign that you need someone to explain more to you. Talking to a counselor helps you to understand the basic concept of addiction.

You will get to know why you became addicted, alongside the possible risk factors that you were not aware of. Additionally, you will be able to tell the signs that someone is addicted, which will make it easier for you to recognize addicts around you who also need help.

You find it hard to stop addictive habits

If you are finding it difficult to quit addictive habits, then you need external help. Working with the counselor will make you understand that it takes more than willpower to decide to quit an addiction.

Hence, with your willpower, the counselor’s expertise, and the help of the rehab, you will be able to conquer addiction.

You are experiencing mental health problems

People who are addicted to a behavior or substance may experience some mental health issues that might be affecting their overall wellness adversely. At this point, you need all the help that you can get to recover from them.

Sometimes, the presence of mental health disorders might make it difficult for you to break free from addiction. When you talk to a counselor, you will learn how to manage these mental health problems, to make addiction less challenging for you to handle.

The benefits of getting counseling help for addiction recovery

If you are looking to stop the use of drugs or alcohol, it is important to get help from the right quarters. An integral part of your addiction recovery is having a counselor by your side that would help you understand all about your recovery journey.  

Here are some of the benefits that come with counseling during addiction recovery

  • A broad perspective

With counseling, you will be able to identify the behaviors or triggers that make you abuse substances or behaviors that can induce addiction.

The counselor helps you identify those damaging patterns that can cause addiction. Also, the counselor proffers useful therapies that will help the addict to learn new approaches to tackle their addiction.

  • Coping strategies

When addiction recovery is in motion, it is usually difficult to pull through because you are trying to end one lifestyle and begin another. It is challenging to stop a habit that has formed and taken root in your life over the years.

The counselor understands this and helps you learn effective coping strategies that will enable you to fight those triggers when they happen.

  • Support

Some addicts in addiction recovery have no one to turn to because no one is interested in helping them. It would surprise you to learn that some individuals in addiction recovery had no external assistance in seeking help for themselves.

When such people sign up for counseling, they need a support system that truly cares about them and what they are going through. This is one of the roles that a counselor plays.

  • Prevention of relapse

When addiction recovery has ended, there is a chance that a relapse might occur. At this point, the counselor has a critical role to play in preventing this. With counseling help, recovering individuals would be able to get the needed help to ensure a relapse does not occur.

Asides from the benefits mentioned in this piece, other benefits come with getting counseling help for addiction recovery. It is advised to get help from reputable and qualified counselors in order to get properly started.

Three categories of people that can help you in addiction recovery

Addiction recovery is one of the most challenging phases an individual has to go through. Right from the point where they have to stop their addictive habits, to going for treatment sessions and the likes, it is a road saddled with hitches.

It is correct to mention that people without help in addiction recovery will find it difficult to pull through. In some cases, they will find themselves relapsing.

Here are three categories of people that are beneficial in addiction recovery.

  • Counselor

The place of a counselor is irreplaceable in addiction recovery. When the addict enters for addiction treatment, the first point of contact is the counselor.

The counselor helps the addict to uncover the root cause of their addiction problem. Consider the counselor as a guide that sticks with the individual as they go through addiction treatment.

The interesting part is after all has been said and done, the counselor still remains with the individual during the aftercare period. The aftercare phase is a sensitive one because there is a tendency for relapse to occur.

  • Family

The family of the individual is an integral part of addiction recovery. During this point, there is a chance for the individual to be emotionally/mentally unstable. However, with the help of the family to provide support, they will be able to pull through.

Also, when the individual needs to attend addiction treatment sessions, the family will have to attend at some point because it is important they understand what is really wrong with their loved one. 

  • Friends

The friends in the life of an individual also have a pivotal role to play when it comes to the recovery of their loved one. Just like family members, the individual needs healthy-minded friends around him that would make his addiction recovery process faster.

With all these people around the addicted individual providing their peculiar help, their health would certainly be restored to normalcy.


When an addict achieves sobriety, it means that he or she is free from the problem of addiction. The entire process of addiction is more complex than people are aware of.

It is a brain disease that puts one in the bondage of satisfying the pleasure center of the brain responsible for the production of dopamine also known as the pleasure hormone.

There are two common problems when it comes to addiction. The first one is, not everyone knows if they are addicted and the second is, not everyone wants to opt for addiction treatment.

People in the first category are not informed, if they are informed they would know more about the addiction problem. For people in the second category, they would not want to go for addiction treatment because of the stigma attached to it.

The truth about all these is, there is no real stigma behind going for addiction treatment. Anyone who opts for treatment has taken a bold step to take care of their health and it should be applauded.

Also, this is a call to the health sector, media and other important sectors of a nation to enlighten people on the concept of addiction. A good number of people do not know what it involves and some of them become addicted unknowingly.

If you know someone who is addicted, the first line of action is not to condemn them. The act of condemning is what makes addict stigmatized. What should be done in this case is to encourage them to opt for addiction treatment.

If he or she accepts and decides to go for addiction treatment, it is best not to leave them alone. Rather, all you need do is check up on them on a regular basis, making sure that they are pulling through with the entire process of addiction recovery.

An addict who receives help during the period of addiction recovery will fare better faster, and this is what these individuals need.


The primary function of a jail is to serve as a facility that houses people who have committed crimes in the past. There are various crimes that can land one in jail and these crimes also have different causes. Some of the reasons why these crimes were committed is because addiction was in motion.

For instance, a driver can be jailed for murder because he or she was driving under the influence of alcohol or even drugs. These are crimes that were committed the influence of substances.

Someone who goes to jail for the murder of an individual under the influence of a substance might not understand the reason for being jailed.

Hence, the individual might finish serving his or her sentence and repeat the same crime. This can result in an unending vicious cycle. The rehab option for someone who commit addiction-related crimes is better but people look at it as a milder option.

The rehab is one of the most proficient places in the world where learning and correction takes place. This implies that anyone who is enrolled in a rehab will receive and imbibe correction for any form of correctional deformation or substance addiction.

What makes it more interesting is, a rehab does not require you to spend long periods of years. All that is needed is your cooperation and willingness to undergo treatment and various counseling session.

At a rehab, your loved ones are still accessible to you based on confirmations that they are sober-free.

A rehab also handles mental health cases asides addiction revealing its all-encompassing nature. Not everyone will be admitted within the rehab on a full-time basis.

This admission depends largely on the severity of the individual’s addiction. So, for those who are addicted but not chronically, they can attend a rehab and still go about their regular activities.

However, individuals who are severely addicted will have to be admitted fully within the facility till they recover fully.

Jail term might prevent the individual from further addiction-related or mental health crimes, but it cannot correct them totally.

Recovery Advocacy: Even They Struggle

There is a show on Netflix called “Weeds” …

Just a short overview:

It is about a mom of two boys whose husband suddenly passes away. He made all the money and they lived a luxurious life in California. Following his death, she went into a frenzy trying to figure out a way to make a substantial income so she could continue to support her lifestyle…

Eventually, she ends up becoming a drug dealer – of weed – hence, the title.

Later on, in the show, she eventually goes to jail and when she comes out she is placed in a halfway house. It eventually becomes apparent that one of the main directors is a drunk…

The reasoning behind telling this synopsis of the show is to demonstrate that addiction recovery advocacy does not always equal addiction recovery.

Oftentimes, people who are greatly involved in addiction recovery advocacy are recovered addicts themselves. As they heal, they find a passion for helping others heal and want to share how sobering up has changed their lives.

But, all too often, they are the ones still struggling the most.

Most people find it shocking to hear an addiction recovery advocacy has passed from a drug overdose. But, it is much more common than you think.

Just because they are now against addiction and for addiction recovery, does not mean their sobriety suddenly becomes a walk in the park. In fact, it seems to become even harder. They are now focused on helping others and feel as though they cannot come out and openly share they are struggling. This often leaves them struggling greatly behind closed doors.

So, while they might be an addiction recovery advocate, they should still be involved in an addiction recovery program.

The moral of the story is that no one is above addiction…

It can happen to just about anyone. Even the people who appear to have overcome it.

You never know just who is struggling behind closed doors and what it is that they might be struggling with. Always encourage one another and try to help if at all possible.

Familiarize yourself with the warning signs so that you can offer to help if you notice someone might be falling victim to addiction. Sometimes, the worst addicts are the most deceiving.

And, just remember, addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Don’t ever think you should stop trying because the second you become weak is the second you give in.

3 Steps for Disputing Difficult Thoughts

Do you sometimes find that you are actually responsible for putting yourself down?

You might be sitting in a quiet room, maybe you are even upset at the moment, and you find yourself thinking you are not good enough or you begin telling yourself that you cannot do something…

Oftentimes, we are our own worst enemy. It is hard to deny what our minds tell us. We feel that just about everything think must be true. But, the mind can be a scary thing…

There are plenty of times where it feeds us lies. And, the only thing that is able to get between those negative thoughts is our own realization that it is not true.

Especially during addiction recovery, emotional distress can really wreak havoc on your overall health and your recovery success rate. As you think these negative thoughts, you might find yourself giving in or wanting to give up because your mind can so easily convince you of whatever negative thought it is proposing to you.

But, you have the greatest power of all – you can control your mind and feed it true, helpful, hopeful, and nurturing thoughts rather than harmful and negative lies.

Try these practices for talking yourself out of negative thoughts:

  1. Ask yourself: Is this thought true?

    Find a piece of paper, a small piece of cardboard or a rock and write the word “truth” on it. Hold onto that while you give yourself the truth test.

    Did this actually happen?

    If I asked my {insert: mom, spouse, child, etc.} would they say the same thing?

    What is making me think this?

    Oftentimes, if there is no explanation to the last question and the first two answers are “no,” then your thought is not true.

  2. Ask yourself: Is this thought hopeful?

    Does it support your dreams, goals, and route for recovery?

    Or, does it put more negativity into your life?

    Even in times of struggle, focus on the positive and hopeful thoughts. Successful recovery starts with thinking and truly knowing that you can do it.

  3. Ask yourself: Is this thought helping me?

    Is this thought helping you realize something new and leading you to a more successful path?

    Recovery has no room for negativity.

    Your thoughts should be geared toward making you a better you.

Why You Should Celebrate All Victories, Even Small

Do you remember as a child when you would do something good, anything, and your parents would praise you?

It could be something as simple as trying to tie your shoe – you did not get it right, but you gave it a try and were better than yesterday so they were overjoyed because you were making progress…

Most parents are that way – they celebrate every victory their child has, no matter how small. They see the value in even the smallest of steps toward improvement. Even if it isn’t a leap, it is still a step toward improvement, right?

So, why are we not like that with ourselves?

Especially when it comes to a major milestone in our life, like getting clean, why do we ignore the small victories, only aiming for the big ones?

It is easy to look at the bigger picture and think, “Well, I’m not there yet so I’m not good enough.”

But, start by breaking that down…

What steps do you have to take to get there? The bigger picture is all about the little victories that it is composed of within.

So, just to reiterate that: one small victory is great progress toward the bigger picture and your overall goal.

To say you have been clean for a month, you have to start by staying clean for a week or even just a day.

Continue to reach toward those monumental goals, but appreciate the little successes and victories along the way.

By celebrating the small victories along the way, you can observe how you have improved and continue pushing yourself forward.

After all, it is all about motivation, right?

So, when you are recovering from your addiction, find your motivation in your small victories.

Keep coming back to your meetings. Keep working with other. Keep talking to others. Keep using those tracking tools. And each time you succeed in something, reward yourself.

One of the best ways to avoid losing sight of the small victories is to make a list of goals:

  • Start by listing out what your main goal is – i.e. to be sober.
  • Next, break that down into three (or so) major milestones you need to hit – i.e. sobriety for one year.
  • Then, break it down even further into the small milestones you need to hit to make that major milestone which eventually translates into your overall goal – i.e. be sober for one month straight.

And, the goals can be whatever best fits your recovery…

Maybe one is to mend the relationship you have with your child.

Well, did they answer when you called today instead of ignoring your call? Did you have a five-minute conversation with them instead of being forced to leave a voicemail?

That is a victory! Small, but still victorious.

Celebrating even the smallest of victories will keep you on track for your big goal.

4 Safe Alternatives for A Recovering Opioid Addict

Opioids are a series of painkillers which are by far the most commonly prescribed painkillers in the United States. In addition to the fact that they are commonly prescribed, these painkillers are also very highly addictive and can have extremely bad side effects.

Each year, over 289 million prescriptions are written for analgesic pain relievers, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report. But the statistics just get worse…

Studies also show that despite the fact that the United States is only five percent of the world’s population, they consume about 80 percent of the world’s opioid pain medication.

But, don’t let the data fool you – while the opioid crisis is a major issue and concern in the United States, the issue of addiction to this drug plagues everywhere. While the numbers might not be as high in other areas, they are definitely not non-existent.

However, more and more people are beginning to realize the dangers of this drug. But, since it is commonly prescribed for pain – leading you to believe that an addict most likely suffers from a chronic pain of some sort – they need some other form of pain relief.

So, what is a recovering opioid addict supposed to do? As a recovering addict, you have to be very careful about what you do and don’t take, a variety of medications could put you at great risk for another addiction.

A few safe and natural alternatives include:

  1. Exercise – Sometimes a good stretch can do the body good. Try going for a job or participating in a class like yoga to open up your body and your mind. Pain can easily be controlled through natural remedies such as this and combined with mindfulness.
  2. Massage, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture – Try seeing a specialist. Sometimes, pain can be treated best just by a simple massage in the area that is affected. This is also a great way to relax. Sometimes, one small issue could be causing great pain and it is something a chiropractor could reset – it is worth giving it a shot.

  3. Over-the-Counter Tylenol – Officially known as Acetaminophen, this OTC drug is best known for truly treating pain. A study shows it is actually more effective when taken with ibuprofen than oral opioid drugs when tested on patients who had a tooth extraction.
  4. Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors – Despite being most known as antidepressants, these drugs are great for muscular and skeletal pain even if you are not suffering from depression.

As always though, check with your doctor and your counselor before making a decision. Some forms of treatment are better than others based on your specific situation.

What Is Mindfulness?

Let’s just start by getting the definition out in the open, from the beginning so we are all on the same page…

By definition, mindfulness is the state or quality of being conscious and aware of something. Furthermore, it is a specific mental state which is achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, acknowledging your feelings, thoughts, and sensations.

For most people, that probably makes you think of meditation – the state of practicing and training the mind to be conscious (or mindful).

It has been shown that as humans, we spend more than 50 percent of our awakened lifetime in a mindless state – we are just living on autopilot, just going through the motions. We wake up, get ready, go to work, come home, cook dinner, and start all over. Although we might incorporate new things into that routine at some points, rarely do we ever actually stop to become aware of how we are feeling and what we think.

Mindfulness vs. Mindful Awareness

Let’s start by also introducing mindful awareness…

So, here’s what we have:

  • Mindfulness is the state of being conscious and aware of something – how we feel, what we are thinking, the sensations we are feeling.
  • Mindful awareness is actually paying attention to what is happening in the present experience.

So, during mindfulness, you can look back and become aware of how you felt, what you thought, etc. But, during mindful awareness, you are actually experiencing it in the moment.

Why do these play a role in recovery?

So, you are probably wondering the obvious…

What do mindfulness and mindful awareness have to do with addiction recovery?

Well, everything.

In order to foster the drive to overcome your addiction, you need to understand both why it is that you want to overcome it and how it is that you feel during the addiction.

In other words, you should be able to realize that you are vulnerable, sick, and make poor decisions in the moment, then you should remain aware of those so you can look back and remind yourself why you don’t want to go back down that path.

How do you do it?

Meditation is a great way to train the mind to be more aware. It helps you learn how to hear your thoughts and how to block out the noise.

Practice taking just about ten seconds to breathe in the midst of any situation before making a decision. Sometimes it just takes slowing down and observing what is going on to see it from an outside view.