Drug Dependence / Abuse / Addiction

Drug addiction, dependence or abuse, sometimes called substance use disorder, is a disease. It affects an individual's brain and behavior, making it so they are unable to control their use of the drug in question. Symptoms of drug dependence include needing more of the drug to get the same effect over time, intense urges for the drug to the point of not being able to concentrate on anything else, spending money that you can't afford on the drug, not fulfilling obligations (work, familial or social) because of drug use, and/or failing in attempts to stop or reduce use of the drug. If you are worried that a loved one may be struggling with drug abuse, some possible indicators include a drop in school or work performance or attendance, a lack of interest in their appearance, increased secretiveness, and/or sudden requests for money. A qualified professional therapist will be able to identify and diagnose drug issues, provide harm reduction support, work with you to create a treatment plan and help you stick to it. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s drug dependence, abuse and addiction specialists for help today.

Meet the specialists

I have been in personal long-term recovery since June 7, 1993. I continue to show up for my life on a daily basis and challenger myself to life fully without the use of mind/body altering substances. I support harm reduction, medication management, abstinence, and any process that moves a person toward wellness and positive self-awareness.

— donald "keith" montgomery, Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

I have extensive training and experience in treatment of substance use disorders, including addiction to drugs and alcohol.

— Stefanie Tweedly, Clinical Psychologist in Newport Beach, CA

I have been working with addictions since 2009 in private clinic as psychiatrist and psychotherapist. I am treating around 30 klients in in-patient detox program per month. I am happy to help patients and their families with whom I am working too.

— Ekaterina Tyurina, Psychiatrist in Belgrade,

Using alcohol/drugs is not because you are bad or weak; it is because you are trying to cope with stress, uncomfortable feelings or physical/emotional pain. Fear and shame can make it hard to ask for help. I provide a safe and supportive therapeutic experience that can help you understand your behavior and discover you have choices in your life.

— Justin Mink, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Culver City, CA

The opposite of addiction is connection. I myself have experienced battles with addiction. It takes everything from you. Addiction changes who you are. You do things you never thought possible. You push everyone away from you and destroy everything. Through my personal experience, education, and experience I bring a unique perspective to helping people who are also struggling. I believe in a harm reduction mentality and can help you create your own unique recovery plan.

— Patrick Casale, Counselor in asheville, NC

Are you struggling with substance abuse (Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, or Prescription Drugs)? We want you to know that you are not alone. Cincinnati Renewed Wellness views Addiction as a symptom to an underlying issue (Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Chronic illness, injury, etc). We explore both the physical and psychological impact to assist with creating an individualized treatment plan to achieve sustainable recovery and restore wellness.

— Allie McLaughlin, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH

I am a certified alcohol and other drug counselor (CADC). I believe in a holistic and individualized approach to treating addiction. I am a certified Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) Leader.

— Traci Patterson, Therapist in Chicago, IL

The Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR) method is an urge reduction protocol for the treatment of a wide range of chemical addictions and dysfunctional behaviors. The purpose of the DeTUR protocol is to uncover core traumas and reprocess them. In achieving reprocessing, the triggers no longer stimulate the need to use or act out. The new response becomes the positive treatment goal of coping, and functioning successfully in life as determined by the client.

— William Portis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bloomington, IL

Often mental health issues and addiction go hand in hand, and it is not as black and white as "which caused the other?" as it goes both ways. Whichever came first for you, it is clear that they are deeply intertwined and both demonstrate fundamental changes to the brain. I have experience in treating a wide variety of substance use disorders and guiding and supporting people through the challenges required to make lasting change.

— Courtney Wade, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Columbus, OH

The foundation of my training is in substance use disorders and my work and passion grew from there into other addiction related issues such as trauma. Whether the goal be abstinence or moderation management, I meet clients where they are to navigate a road of recovery and/or build a healthy, enjoyable sober life. I take a straightforward but compassionate approach as we address relapse prevention and the issues underlying ones addictive behaviors.

— rachel khints, Counselor in New York, NY

Currently I am the Clinical Director at an addiction facility here in Wichita (which leaves me able to see clients in the evenings and on the weekends). I have a wide area of expertise in the field of addiction and have seen great results with my clients using EMDR geared toward the disease of addiction.

— Valerie Kreger, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wichita, KS

Addiction is a disease and healing is possible. I support individuals to develop a plan to achieve abstinence and sobriety, to manage emotional and physical health, and to prevent further self-medication and relapse. For five years I worked at a drug treatment center, primarily with opiate addiction where I helped individuals find their unique path to recovery. I provide a comfortable, non-judgmental setting to help you overcome your dependence on substances and addictive behaviors.

— Deborah Robinson-Thompson, Mental Health Counselor in Burlington, MA

As a certified MDFT Therapist and Supervisor, I have worked with teens and young adults with a wide range of substance abuse problems, many of whom were on probation or otherwise court-involved. Through a well-researched, direct, but caring approach, many people have been set free from drugs and the prison pipeline.

— Estepha Francisque, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sacramento, CA

I am a licensed clinical addictions counselor. It’s why I got into the field, my passion and understanding for people with addiction. I am in long term recovery myself which I find is a great complement to the skills and training I have to work with people toward a life of recovery.

— Leslie Inlow, Counselor in Noblesville, IN

I have worked in the outpatient and inpatient setting for addiction (both alcohol and drugs) for years. I enjoy helping those that are struggling, to find their way towards and through recovery.

— Tiffany Price, Counselor in MIDWEST CITY, OK

You may be ready, skeptical, or unsure about psychotherapy being something that can help with addictions, either way is okay. Maybe you want to build a healthier relationship with these behaviors, or maybe you want to completely stop. You may believe that psychological factors contribute or exacerbate the desire to engage in these behaviors. I am experienced in dual-diagnosis, co-dependency, group and individual therapy, and several models of rehabilitation.

— Jason C. Zeltser, Psychologist in Berkeley, CA

Substance Abuse in all its forms is a disease, not a "sin" or weakness of character. When I work with people who want to recover, my focus is on the whole person. Use of drugs is a part of the fuller picture, just as with any other concern people bring to someone like me. While I encourage complete abstinence, I do not require it. If you come to me for help, I will tell you why I believe it makes sense.

— John Eichenberger, Counselor in Fairport, NY

The Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR) method is an urge reduction protocol for the treatment of a wide range of chemical addictions and dysfunctional behaviors. The purpose of the DeTUR protocol is to uncover core traumas and reprocess them. In achieving reprocessing, the triggers no longer stimulate the need to use or act out. The new response becomes the positive treatment goal of coping, and functioning successfully in life as determined by the client.

— William Portis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bloomington, IL

I have extensive experience working with many different sustance-related issues. Including, opioids, alcohol, sedatives and amphetamines.

— Debbie Bauer, Counselor in Santa Rosa, CA

Drug addiction is a tough issue to struggle with- it affects all areas of your life. I have devoted my professional life to the treatment of addiction and look forward to hearing your story and helping you to get into the solution.

— Lissa Merkel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

I am in the process of obtaining my (CADC) to be a certified alcohol and drug counselor. Coursework and hours of supervision now completed, soon hoping to take the exam.

— Allen Johnson, Counselor in Brandon, MS

Addictions counseling is a process of building nets of support around you while you shift your harmful coping mechanisms into ways of living that are sustainable. This process includes education, inner work, support system building, and a willingness to keep moving forward honestly. It is not a solo adventure.

— SHANE HENNESEY, Counselor in Richmond, TX

Not everyone is open to full abstinence and the 12-Step modality; which is why I work from both a total abstinence modality and harm-reduction. Over the years, I realized that when treating addiction, it is important to consider the client’s prospective on how to approach their addiction, and to allow the client to decide what is the best course of treatment for them. This will assist the client to feel empowered and have a choice, and options, in their recovery.

— Filippo M. Forni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I have been working exclusively in the realm of addiction for the last five years though I have been working in the mental health field for 15-17 years. I counsel about addiction, triggers, relapse prevention, developing a sobriety toolkit, developing healthy networks of support, and transforming lives step by step and day by day.

— Dr Erika Epps, Addictions Counselor in College Station, TX

I have worked almost exclusively with clients struggling with addiction for the past 3 years.

— Liberty McClead, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sharpsburg, GA

I treat addiction as a genuine but misguided attempt to manage the pain and chaos of one's internal world. I help my clients locate and heal the emotional pain which fuels any addiction.

— Adam Richardson, Counselor in Boulder, CO

I have been working with folks living with addiction since I started in social services over 10 years ago. My approach to substance use is based in non-judgmental harm reduction. I offer alternatives to the 12 step approach (though I am also absolutely supportive of folks in the program), and tailor treatment to the unique needs and goals of my clients.

— Kian Leggett, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

Recovery from Opioid Dependence (Painkiller Addiction) will look different than recovery from other substances. The science is there. The studies are clear. Recovery is possible. Medication and behavioral therapy combined are considered best practices and create the best chance of success in recovery. If you are in a MAT program that includes medication and therapy, high five! I wish you the best. If you are using medication and ready to add therapy to your recovery plan, give me a call!

— Christa Harrison, Therapist in Oklahoma City, OK

At some point in our lives, we will be touched by someone we know or a loved one with a substance addiction or behavioral addiction. Addiction to alcohol or prescription medications is just the tip of the iceberg for the many addictive behaviors that we face today. Behavioral addictions such as work, gambling, exercise; emotional eating, Internet pornography, sex, shopping and video games are all very serious and can impact daily functioning and quality of life for the addict and the family system. Many times addictions are rooted in dealing with emotional issues through unhealthy behaviors. We can help you identify and take responsibility for your behavior to regain control of your life. Stress and anxiety from work spill over into a need to “let off some steam,” while stress and anxiety from substance abuse or addictive behaviors cycle around and impact one’s work life.

— Peter Rivkees, Counselor in Clermont, FL

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. According to the DSM-V, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria. I offers specialized behavioral therapies for substance use disorders.

— Brittany Male, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Aurora, IL

I am a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with several years of experience working with adolescents and adults at both the inpatient and outpatient levels of care. I have counseled clients in all stages of change, from active use to long-term recovery, and have vast knowledge of and experience with the 12-step model.

— Steffanie Kelshaw, Licensed Professional Counselor in Alexandria, VA

I am a licensed chemical dependency professional and have worked with clients who are struggling with their own substance use or with a family member's use. I have worked in inpatient, community and outpatient settings, providing treatment to both children and adults.

— Anna Gavrishova, Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Substances can be used as a coping mechanism, but it isn't always healthy. I use a harm-reduction approach to help you reach your goals whether they are to get control of your use or complete sobriety.

— Stephanie Taylor, Mental Health Counselor in Belton, TX

Everyone develops habits in life, whether they are good or bad. However, the unhealthy habits are always the ones that are hardest to quit. We can help you stop these unhealthy urges that are taking a toll on your well-being. Addiction therapy is designed to help people cope with their addiction and lead a healthy and empowered life. We can help you get through your addiction and promote a better lifestyle. As recovering addicts ourselves, we understand the process.

— Jason Walter, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lake Elmo, MN

Certified Addiction Professional since 1980's Master Addiction Counselor 1996. Instructor for adults seeking Certification as Addiction Counselors in 12 states. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, along with Emotionally Focused Therapy, CBT & informed DBT may be used depending on client's needs and openness. I work with persons who have Substance Use Disorder diagnosis, as well as, those who may be misusing substances to cope with stress, or gotten into bad habits. Addictive behaviors are not limited to substances, but also include gambling and gaming. As a national clinical outreach professional for many years I am familiar with many different treatment centers around the US and can help with placement recommendations. Family members often need support and a place to sort out their struggles when a loved one is on a dangerous path to addiction. I know what happens on the treatment side, good & bad, and can help guide family and partners through the process.

— Lena Sheffield, Licensed Professional Counselor in Miami, FL

Since 2012, I have worked within the field of addictions recovery. It’s my experience that those struggling with addiction - whether it’s to food, sex, alcohol, drugs or even work - all seek to escape, in one form or another, from pain, as addiction often correlates with trauma. It’s my goal to support those battling addictive behaviors to develop healthy coping mechanisms for difficult emotions, process underlying trauma, and reclaim joy.

— Monroe Spivey, Therapist in Asheville, NC

You're maintaining a clean and sober lifestyle: Now what? You've been through a major change in your recovery, and you're still not happy. I'm here as your guide to deepen the recovery you've worked so hard to achieve!

— Lisa SLOAN STROM, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I have a specialty in addiction treatment. I can help you free yourself of addictive and compulsive habits of behavior. I work on building a life worth living so that turning away from destructive habits becomes a more natural choice. In some cases abstinence is a necessary or desired outcome, in others we may work on a Harm Reduction model. I often recommend the Sinclair Method to engage clients with alcohol abuse issues who do not want to use a 12-step abstinence approach. I am here to serve your best Self.

— Melissa Owens, Counselor in Portland, OR

Experienced in supporting individuals struggling with substance use in a variety of treatment settings including detox, IOP, and outpatient. Familiar with 12 steps, SMART, and Refuge Recovery.

— Erica Thompson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA