What Is an Addiction Specialist?
When I finally decided to seek help for my addiction, I was very close to death. I was facing prison time for multiple offenses related to my addiction, and I didn’t want to live anymore. It was extremely difficult for me to see myself getting clean and fixing my life.
Because of the wonderful people at Circle of Hope Recovery Center, I was given a new lease on life. I met addiction specialists who knew exactly how to treat my specific addiction. I had always assumed people working in recovery centers were just there because it was their job. They go in every day, do their job, and go home.
When I got into recovery, I was surprised by the personal approach that was taken with me. These people wanted to get to know me, and they treated me like a human being.
I hadn’t been treated that way in a very long time, so I was a bit wary of being treated this way. I thought these people were trying to use me in some way and get something out of me. I eventually realized that these people are just really good at what they do. It’s their mission to help others. It gave me new faith in humanity.
Being an addiction specialist is a real profession that requires a certain amount of training. It goes beyond just being a former addict, however a lot of addiction specialists are in fact recovering drug addicts. There are many online programs that offer addiction specialist degrees.
A lot of addiction specialists work in recovery programs and are there for you while you go through the process. A lot of the training for addiction specialists occurs in recovery centers. It’s a hands-on type of position. You need to actively participate to get good at it.
Because there is a lot more emphasis on recovery nowadays, it isn’t too difficult to find an addiction specialist near you. A quick internet search of “addiction specialists near me” will give you a boatload of results. I was surprised there were so many professionals working in this field.
I believe that the one silver lining in the opiate epidemic is that there is a lot more serious focus on treatment. We all know someone who has struggled with a drug or alcohol addiction. You don’t have to go too far to find someone whose life has been personally affected by substance abuse.
Details Of Addiction Specialist Types
There are multiple types of addiction specialists. Addiction specialists typically have a medical degree and/or some sort of professional certification.
Interventionists are certified addiction specialists who help coordinate interventions between the addict and the addict’s loved ones. They are specifically trained to develop ways to get people into recovery programs. What works for one person may not work for another.
Interventionists work with the family to come up with the best approach to convince the addict to get help. Ultimately, it is up to the addict themselves to decide whether they will get help or not.
Recovery coaches are addiction specialists whose job is to help an addict maintain sobriety. They are not involved in diagnosing or treating an addiction. Rather, they are people who can coach you through your sobriety. They are trained to offer support and give advice. When you are newly sober, you are vulnerable.
It can be very difficult to hold yourself accountable during that initial sobriety period. Sobriety and recovery coaches can get you through that process just by being there to talk when you need them.
Everyone in recovery needs someone they can call when they feel weak. It’s very important to have someone reassure you that you are doing the right thing.
You will most likely encounter addiction counselors through your sobriety journey. These are the people who coordinate and run group or individual therapy sessions. I’ve found group meetings to be very vital to my recovery.
I have connected deeply with many of the fellow addicts I’ve met through these groups. It shows you that addiction affects people from all walks of life. It’s a wide-reaching disease. When you meet other people who are having success in their recovery, it gives you the confidence that you can do the same.
Addiction-specialized psychologists and physicians: when you are trying to recover from addiction, you are usually going to have more issues to resolve than your addiction alone.
There is a psychological aspect that cannot be overlooked. A lot of people become addicts because of something in their past. A lot of times mental illness can trigger addiction, and in some cases, addiction can trigger mental illness. It’s important to talk to a psychologist who specializes in addiction during your recovery.
They can help you understand what triggers you. They can also give you the tools to deal with your emotions and your impulses. You will start to understand what made you an addict, and what you can do to prevent yourself from continuing to be addicted.
You Can’t Do It Alone: Addiction Specialists Near Me
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my recovery journey is that you are going to need a hand occasionally. While your recovery is a very personal process, there are going to be times when you need to be picked up and reminded of how far you’ve come.
Addiction changes our brain chemistry to where we think all we need is the drug. You can have years of sobriety and still be triggered by your addiction. It doesn’t take much to relapse if you are having an off day and suddenly feel the urge to use. I’ve had many days where I felt like throwing it all away.
All the progress I made didn’t seem all that important to me in those moments. Getting high again was very tempting. It was difficult to distract myself away from it. Having the right people to get in touch with was crucial for me. Even knowing when to stay home and cuddle with my pets in recovery, rather than go out into risky situations, was important for me.
When you have the right people in your corner, you will be most likely to succeed. Having someone you can call, text or visit is very beneficial. Sometimes you just need someone to talk you down. All it can take is a phone conversation to keep you from destroying all your progress. Sobriety is a practice. You do not get sober and then never have to worry about using drugs or alcohol again. Part of you will always be an addict, but you don’t have to be defined that way.
The people you will meet throughout your recovery will really surprise you. These are extremely compassionate individuals who make it their life’s duty to help get people clean. This isn’t a career where you can just go through the motions. It’s absolutely a calling.
You have to want to help people and be there for them no matter what. A good addiction specialist should be compassionate and have great exceptional listening skills. In order to help anyone through anything, you have to be a good listener.
When you’re in recovery, you should be an open book. You should be as honest as possible and talk to others about your struggle. It can be the difference in someone else’s recovery. When I hear people talk about how down and out they were, and how they rose up and overcame their addiction, it gives me tremendous faith in the process. I know that if I keep attending meetings and actively working on my recovery, I can make it work no matter what.