If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, finding a quality addiction therapist will go a long way in achieving long-term sobriety and ensuring a safe detox from a particular drug. There are several different types of therapists with different qualifications that you might run into in your search. It’s important to keep in mind that addiction treatment requires a team and support system to ensure the best results, so you will likely speak with several types of addiction therapists in your or your loved one’s treatment.
One is an addiction psychiatrist. An addiction psychiatrist is licensed to prescribe medication to patients to offset the effects of withdrawal and treat any underlying mental health conditions that are either caused or worsened by the addiction. Common medications psychiatrists prescribe include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-seizure medications. Depending on the addiction psychiatrist, he or she may provide talk therapy or may work in tandem with an addiction psychologist or licensed professional counselor.
Addiction psychologists, on the other hand, are doctors of medical health but not medical doctors. They are unable to prescribe medication, but they can provide a variety of other treatments that can help treat addiction, including cognitive behavior therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment, 12-step counseling, mindfulness training, and more. Licensed professional counselors and social workers may offer similar treatments, but they usually have a master’s degree level of education and may take slightly different approaches to treatment.
How Do You Find a Good Addiction Therapist?
There are a number of ways you can find an addiction therapist. Here are several routes you can take:
- Get a referral from your physician
- Attend a 12-step meeting or other addiction support group and members may be able to refer you to a therapist
- Check your local hospital or treatment center
- Consult a professional addiction organization like the American Society of Addiction Medicine or National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
- Speak to an addiction advocate like Joseph Governara who can point you in the right direction
Speak with your priest, pastor, or other spiritual leader to help you find help