Counseling is an essential part of opiate addiction treatment and recovery. Addiction is more than a physical disease, so it requires more than detox or physical health care. It even requires more than counseling for just drug use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.” To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.
Effective counseling strategies address the psychological and physical components of opiate addiction as well as the social, spiritual, relational, health and self-esteem issues that may have brought one to addiction initially. Counseling can take many forms, and addiction treatment may involve any or all the following: individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling, meditation, spiritual activities, vocational training, and an overall focus on health and wellness.
In combination with Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), counseling helps increase social functioning and helps address issues that arise during treatment. (White, 2009) Similar to any medical illness we may be suffering from, medication alone does not provide the best result, therefore it is important to take advantage of our great counseling program to get the most out of your treatment. It is important to remember that medication is a tool, but in conjunction with counseling MAT can help make recovery a way of living one’s life.
White, W. L. (2009). Long-Term Strategies to Reduce the Stigma Attached to Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery within the City of Philadelphia (with particular reference to medication-assisted treatment/recovery). Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services .