What Does a Drug Rehab Counselor Do?
Drug addiction is a serious social issue facing America today. Unfortunately, the social stigma attached to drug addiction and drug abuse often leaves the addict isolated and alone, unable or unwilling to find the help they need in order to face and eventually overcome addiction. In the process of rehabilitation and recovery, a drug rehab counselor can often make the difference between an individual’s failure and success. This is partially because drug rehabilitation counselors have a three-fold job: getting the addict to successfully complete the detoxification process, where the drug is no longer flowing throughout their bodies and the worst of the withdrawals are over; counseling, in which individuals work through not just their addiction, but the mental and psychological issues that led them to escape reality through drug abuse in the first place; and finally, aftercare, the regular maintenance and check-ups that insure that the person stays on track toward sobriety.
As a whole, addiction rehab counselors:
- Aid patients in the complete transformation of their lives.
- Help the individual recognize the behaviors and factors that led them to begin using drugs in the first place.
- Transform from someone who is an addict to someone who has overcome his or her addiction.
- Steer patients along the successful path of recovery.
Critical Characteristics of Successful Drug Rehab Counselors
Successful drug rehabilitation begins with carefully trained professionals who have made it their goal to meet the needs of addicts on the individual level, providing them with the strength, courage and confidence to exchange their addictions for sobriety. Passionate drug rehab counseling professionals generally enter the field because of past addictions, friends or relatives who suffered from addiction, or some other interaction with addiction on a personal level. Successful drug rehab counselors enter into each encounter with understanding, patience, empathy and a commitment to help their patient achieve sobriety, no matter what. They are excellent communicators who respect confidentiality and understand that recovery is a long-term process. They also know that drug addiction isn’t the real problem they are encountering, but merely a symptom of a deeper underlying problem that must be thoroughly addressed in order for lasting change to occur. Most of all, a successful drug rehabilitation counselor is a person who feels compassion and isn’t judgmental or overly critical. The process of withdrawal and rehabilitation may not bring out the best in a person, so it is necessary for a counselor to empathize with the patient.
Drug Rehabilitation is a Family Affair
In order for drug rehabilitation to be truly successful, it is critical for a counselor to aid the addict in tearing down the walls they have built up so that efforts are made to reconnect with the world and people around them. The first place in which this effort is made is the home. While many drug rehabilitation counselors want to work with addicts on the individual level, most successful counselors also work closely with friends, relatives and other loved ones to insure that the rehabilitation is comprehensive and that there is a network of support surrounding the patient. Passionate drug rehab counselors take time to mend the relationships destroyed by addiction by explaining the realities of drug addiction and the need for support, accountability and communication to the addict’s relatives and friends. In some cases, a family member or friend may have been a part of the initial problem, which is why this aspect is so important.