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


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 Folsom, CA

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

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I developed a specialty in treating addiction and co-occurring mental disorders over 15 years at a variety of addiction treatment programs the Bay Area; most recently as Clinical Director of Avery Lane, an innovative women's treatment program in Novato, CA. As with all my clinical work, my approach to addiction is a holistic one, incorporating the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of this issue. I've been part of developing The Conscious Recovery Method™ with my colleague TJ Woodward, an approach which moves beyond simply treating behaviors and symptoms. It focuses on the underlying root causes that drive destructive patterns, which include unresolved trauma, toxic shame, and spiritual disconnection. You can find out more about that work here: www.tjwoodward.com/consciousrecovery

— Adriana Popescu, Clinical Psychologist in San Francisco, 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,

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 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

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 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

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

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 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