Substance abuse is a pattern of harmful and addictive use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. People who are addicted to drugs come from many walks of life. Adolescents experimenting, neglected and abused youth, employees under pressure, people with mental health issues, and those facing social problems are a few of the many segments of society who can become addicted.
Addiction affects not just the individual but those who surround him, especially close family. It is not only harmful to their health, but also results in lost productivity, family break up, spread of diseases, crime and homelessness.
The Substance Abuse Program consists of 8 to 10 individual sessions (each session is 45 minutes to an hour long). Some of the sessions can be done by telephone. The program can be completed within 1 to 2 months.
Substance abuse treatment must be tailored to the individual based on issues such as age, culture, gender, parenting, housing, employment and past history of abuse. Treatment can include behavioral therapy such as counseling, cognitive therapy, psychotherapy or a combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings and teaches them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse. Because substance abuse is typically an addiction, a short one-time treatment may not be sufficient. To prevent relapses, a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at self-discipline will usually be required.
Research studies show that even the most severely addicted individuals can participate actively in treatment and that active participation is essential to good outcomes.
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance (drug).
The following topics are covered in the eight (8) counselling sessions of the Alcohol Treatment Program:
- What is alcoholism?
- What are some symptoms of alcoholism?
- What are some causes of alcoholism?
- Assessment usage: amount, frequency
- Payoffs of alcohol consumption
- Anger and alcohol usage: the linkages
- Defense mechanisms e.g. denial, minimization and alcohol abuse
- Harmful effects of alcohol (on the body, relationships)
- Coping strategies e.g. alternative ways of dealing with stress, use of a diary
- Interventions to promote change to a healthy lifestyle
- Review and conclusions