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Should Counselors Refer Addiction Clients?

Alcohol rehab

While many therapists see a variety of mental health disorders and addictions, sometimes it is best to refer. When dealing with an addiction or substance abuse problem, specialized care is preferred. Referring your client to substance abuse treatment programs can provide them with the following advantages.

You know they are getting the attention they need
Most counseling sessions only last an hour. An hour may be sufficient for some mental health concerns, but is not always realistic for addiction treatment. Addictions are often pressing concerns that are currently affecting the client?s day to day life. The client may be dealing with work, social, or marital problems as a result of the addiction. Waiting many months for treatment may simply not be an option. Additionally, the client?s safety could be at risk if they are not receiving the attention they need in the now. Referring to substance abuse treatment programs ensures they have the specialized care and attention they require.

The client is monitored regularly
Another concern with the traditional counseling process is that communication outside of the session does not often occur. While the client is detoxing and overcoming the addiction, they may need additional assistance. These special circumstances cannot always be monitored by a counselor with traditional office hours. However, using substance abuse treatment programs or an alcohol rehab program means that your client is monitored throughout the toughest parts of the rehab.

They have a safe detox process
The physical detox process can be dangerous. The body has become accustomed to the substance and removing it can cause a variety of negative side effects. This process should really be monitored by a physician. Referring to a drug rehab center or substance abuse treatment programs ensures that your client is able to detox in a safe and accommodating environment. The medical physicians can monitor the process and can prescribe any assistive medications to ease the negative side effects.

They are more experienced in addiction
Addiction is an entire field of the counseling profession. Simply jumping in and seeing clients with addiction are not very helpful to the client. It is best to understand the common feelings, the best treatment techniques, and the common avoidances. Addiction treatment centers commonly use the smart recovery method. Smart Recovery teaches the five steps of change people in recovery might experience. The first stage an addict might experience is the pre contemplation. Then he or she might enter the second stage which is called contemplation. Next, a person could realize the third stage which is preparation. The fourth stage is the action stage, and finally, the last stage is maintenance.

Reduce the chance of relapse
Many clients will go through at least one relapse. There are many external factors working toward the client that can cause them to use again. These relapse experiences can be used for growth and to prevent further relapse. Alcohol abuse treatment programs, however, are better prepared and informed to deal with these relapses. It is estimated that in the United States, somewhere around 10 to 15% of the population is considered to have an addictive personality. A personality cannot be changed. Other methods need to be used to prevent the chance of a relapse.

More than 7% of the adult population in the U.S., nearly 13.8 million Americans have problems with drinking, including 8.1 million people who suffer from alcoholism. While some counselors are prepared to efficiently treat substance use addictions, many are not. There are many advantages in referring to substance abuse treatment programs. The client is provided with a treatment center that gives them the attention, safety, and relapse prevention that they require.

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