Addiction Counseling: Benefits, FAQ’s, & Getting Started

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Addiction counseling and therapy play a pivotal role in addressing addiction by helping people in recovery to understand the underlying causes of addiction, recognize potential triggers for relapse, and develop effective coping strategies for managing challenging situations.

This guide to addict counseling outlines the benefits of substance counseling, highlights the various addiction counseling programs at your disposal, and shows you how to connect with

counseling for drug abuse near you.

The Benefits of Counseling for Addiction

Counseling for drug and alcohol addiction offers many benefits and can help people battling addictions start moving down the path to recovery. Here are some of the key advantages of substance abuse addiction counseling:

  • Understanding the root causes: Drug addiction counseling and alcohol addiction counseling allows people to explore the underlying causes of their addiction. Causes can range from past trauma to unresolved emotional issues. Understanding these triggers can help streamline ongoing recovery.
  • Developing coping strategies: Addiction often stems from an inability to cope with stress and difficult emotions. Counseling equips people with healthy coping strategies, such as mindfulness and stress management techniques, enabling them to deal with life’s challenges more confidently.
  • Support and accountability: In group counseling settings, individuals receive support from peers who understand their struggles. This sense of community and accountability can be highly motivating and reassuring.
  • Relapse prevention: Counselors help people identify potential relapse triggers and develop strategies to prevent relapse. This proactive approach can help individuals maintain long-term sobriety.
  • Improved mental health: Counseling not only addresses addiction but also focuses on improving mental health. It helps manage conditions like depression and anxiety, which often co-occur with addiction.
  • Enhanced quality of life: Successful addiction counseling can lead to reduced crime, lower risk of infectious diseases, improved social functioning, and an uptick in overall quality of life.
  • Holistic approach: Many counseling programs take a holistic approach to treatment, considering physical, emotional, and social aspects of addiction. This comprehensive perspective contributes to more effective and sustainable recovery.

Types of Addiction Counseling Programs

Addiction counseling programs are diverse and tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals seeking help for substance use disorders.

Individual counseling

This one-on-one counseling format allows individuals to work closely with a counselor to address their specific addiction issues. It provides a personalized approach to recovery and allows for in-depth exploration of underlying causes and coping strategies.

Group therapy

Group therapy involves individuals with similar addiction issues coming together to share their experiences, support one another, and learn from each other’s challenges and successes. It fosters a sense of community and can be particularly effective in reducing feelings of isolation.

Family counseling

Addiction does not only affect the individual, but it also impacts the entire family. Family counseling helps address the dynamics and relationships within the family unit, providing support and education to both the person with addiction and their loved ones.

MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

MAT combines FDA-approved medications like methadone or buprenorphine with counseling and behavioral therapies. Medication-assisted treatment is proven effective for treating opioid use disorders and alcohol use disorders and helps individuals manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)

CBT is a widely used type of talk therapy psychotherapy that focuses on identifying then changing problematic behaviors and thought patterns related to addiction. It helps individuals develop healthier coping strategies.

12-step programs

Programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) follow a structured, spiritually-based approach to recovery. They emphasize peer support, accountability, and the completion of the 12 steps to sobriety. It is also possible to engage with non-12-step alternatives – SMART Recovery, for instance.

Holistic counseling

Holistic programs take a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, considering physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery. They may incorporate alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture to complement evidence-based interventions.

Online counseling

With the advancement of technology, online addiction counseling has become more accessible. It allows people to receive counseling services from the comfort of their homes, increasing convenience and accessibility, and ultimately broadening access to treatment.

Community-based counseling

Some addiction counseling services are offered within the community, often by nonprofit organizations or government agencies. These programs aim to provide accessible support to those in need.

Certification programs

These programs train individuals to become certified addiction counselors. They typically involve a structured curriculum and supervised practical experience to prepare professionals for a career in addiction counseling.

The choice of an addiction counseling program depends on an individual’s unique circumstances, the severity of their addiction, and their personal preferences. Many people benefit from a combination of these program types to support their journey to recovery.

An image of two people facing each other in chairs, depicting addiction counseling

How to Find Substance Abuse Counseling

If you or someone that you care about is in need of substance abuse counseling, there are many resources available to help you find the support you need.

  • National helpline: SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) operates a 24/7 free and confidential National Helpline. You can call 1-800-662-HELP to get treatment referrals and information about mental and substance use disorders.
  • Online directories: Websites like Psychology Today offer directories of substance use therapists, psychologists, and counselors near you. You can search for professionals specializing in addiction treatment and find contact information to reach out to them.
  • Treatment facility locator: This treatment locator allows you to search for treatment facilities near your location. You can filter results by treatment type, services provided, and payment options, making it easier to find a suitable facility.
  • Local healthcare providers: Contact local healthcare providers, such as hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. They often have information about substance abuse counseling services in your area.
  • Referrals: Reach out to your primary care physician or a mental health professional you trust. They can provide referrals to substance abuse counselors or treatment programs that suit your needs.
  • Support groups: Attend support group meetings like AA or NA. These groups often have information about local counseling resources and can offer peer support.
  • Community resources: Check with local community organizations, nonprofit agencies, and government-funded programs. They may offer low-cost or free counseling services for individuals struggling with substance abuse.
  • Health insurance: If you have health insurance, contact your insurance provider to inquire about covered substance abuse counseling services. They can provide a list of in-network providers.
  • Word of mouth: Sometimes, personal recommendations from friends or family who have gone through similar challenges can lead you to reputable counselors or treatment centers.
  • Online counseling: Consider online counseling services, which provide virtual counseling sessions through video calls or chat. This option offers flexibility and convenience.

Remember that seeking help for substance abuse is a crucial step toward recovery, and there are many resources available to support you on your journey. Reach out to the appropriate channels to find the counseling and treatment that best fits your needs and circumstances.


What is an addiction therapist?

An addiction therapist is a trained professional who specializes in helping people overcome substance abuse and addiction issues. They provide counseling for addiction in the form of therapy and support.

How can addiction counseling help?

Addictions counseling can be highly beneficial in the recovery process. It helps individuals understand the root causes of their addiction, develop coping strategies, and provides emotional support. Therapists use various techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, to promote sobriety and overall well-being.

How can I find an addiction counselor near me?

To find an addiction counselor in your area, you can start by contacting local mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, or using online directories. Additionally, you can consult your primary care physician or seek recommendations from support groups for addiction recovery.

group of people laughing representing addiction counseling

Get Counseling for Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

We specialize in the intensive outpatient treatment of addictions and mental health conditions at Ohio Recovery Centers.

Counseling is a core component of all treatment programs at our rehab in Cincinnati, OH. Take advantage of individual sessions to probe the specifics of your addiction, and group sessions in which you can benefit from the support of peers with lived experience of addiction.

Call 877-679-2132 today and begin your recovery tomorrow with counseling for addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn