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Why do I need counseling to quit drinking/using drugs?

Drug and alcohol abuse get put into place by numerous forces so addressing it also requires a complex approach.  At the end of the day, the decision to quit must come from the person - but beyond that - assistance with enhancing motivation to stay sober, creating new social networks, learning coping strategies, getting connected to resources in the community, are all best conducted with the assistance of a licensed professional trained to deal with these issues and to help the person avoid relapse, or if they do relapse to keep the relapse as short as possible.  It ends up being a team effort between a mental health practitioner and client.  
Sometimes when people begin having problems associated with drinking alcohol or using drugs they are able to stop their problem behavior on their own. Often it is not that easy—quitting drinking or using drugs can be a major life change. There is ample evidence that counseling and treatment provide experiences, understanding, and new skills that support a person to make the change to a successful drug-free lifestyle.
Fredrick Wade
Addiction Medicine
Counseling is needed to learn how to live your life again without turning to substances to manage the psychosocial issues, and stressors of day-to-day life. Quitting substance use is not that difficult for many. After long-term use, addiction takes on the role of being a coping mechanism in one's life. Thus, you will need support and counseling to learn new ways and methodologies to cope with life if you are to sustain ongoing recovery. Therefore counseling, and its role in these processes are essential to attaining the prized goal of recovery.
Ken Bachrach
Psychology
You may not need counseling to initially quit; however, if you want to not use again you will likely need counseling and support.  Mark Twain once said, “Quitting smoking is easy.  I’ve done it hundreds of times.”  For most people, the most difficult part is not starting to use substances again after they have stopped.  Recovery involves more than just stopping the misuse of substances; rather, you need learn new ways to cope and enjoy life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.