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We also treat relationship break-ups, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss and grief, and many other problems.
Concerns About Alcohol and Drug Use
Alcohol or drug use is a problem when it leads to negative consequences. Here are some signs that alcohol or drug use may be a problem for you or someone you care about:
- Difficulty limiting yourself. Frequently using or drinking more than you intended to. You have tried to quit or cut down with no long term success.
- Craving. A strong urge, desire or need to use the substance that can seem overwhelming at times.
- Using in hazardous situations. You use in situations where intoxication is potentially hazardous, e.g. driving or taking care of children.
- Role failure. Failing to fulfill your obligations such as going to work or parenting.
- Tolerance. You get less of an effect from the usual amount you use, or you need more to get the effect you are looking for.
- Withdrawal. Discomfort that begins shortly after you have stopped using alcohol or drugs.
- You spend too much time recovering from use. For example, coping with hangovers.
- Using even though you know it harms you. You continue to drink or use drugs despite recognizing that this is causing medical, psychological, or relationship problems.
- Alcohol or drug use has replaced other activities that you used to enjoy.
Three Ways We Can Help You or Your Loved One Address Substance Use Concerns:
- We can do a thorough assessment of your substance use concerns and provide you with objective, research-based feedback about what might be the best way to address your concerns.
- We can teach you specific ways of regulating or stopping your substance use, depending on the goal you are committed to.
- We can teach you alternatives to using substances to cope with psychological issues such as anxiety, stress or depression.
Extensive research has demonstrated the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help people resolve concerns about their drug and alcohol use.
CBT approaches meet you where you are, work with you to learn more effective coping strategies, and help you achieve the goal you have chosen, regardless of whether that goal is abstinence or responsible drinking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need to attend AA or other 12-step groups in order to resolve my alcohol or drug problems?
Many people, especially those who are religious or spiritual, find AA or other 12-step support groups helpful. Social support is often an important factor in coping with alcohol and drug problems. However, the decision about attending support groups is yours alone. Your therapist may suggest that you try out support groups, but attendance is not a requirement for resolving your substance use problems.
Are there medications that might be helpful in resolving my substance use problems?
Depending on the substance you are concerned about, there may be one or more medication options specifically designed to help you resolve your concerns. Medications are often an important tool in the process of overcoming substance use issues. Your therapist will discuss possibilities with you. Of course, the decision to use medications is yours alone.
Is an inpatient stay required to resolve substance use problems?
Research does not show any consistent advantage for inpatient as opposed to well-designed and well-structured outpatient Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
However, depending on the substance of concern, there may be a need for medical monitoring of any detoxification process. Again, your therapist will discuss all of these options with you.
How long will treatment last?
Because everyone's circumstances are different, it is not easy to answer this question. Many people require only a few sessions to learn what they need and implement new strategies. Others — often those who have anxiety, stress, depression or other psychological issues — may take longer. The duration of treatment is something you should decide in consultation with your therapist. But how long you stay in treatment is always your decision.
Is complete, lifelong abstinence the only way to resolve my substance use concerns?
The popular concept is that abstinence is the only acceptable goal of "recovery." However, when researchers have examined how people actually overcome their alcohol and drug concerns — including severe substance use problems — most resolutions do not involve complete, lifelong abstinence. Successful recovery often involves reducing alcohol or drug use to a level that no longer creates problems.
The choice of goal, abstinence or reduced use, is your decision. Your therapist will work with you to examine the pros and cons of each option in order to help you make the choice that will be right for you.
Call us at 908-276-3888
Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists of New Jersey
1150 Raritan RoadCranford, New Jersey
Opposite Friendly's RestaurantOne mile from GSP exits 135 and 136