One of the most underestimated tools in drug addiction treatment is on-call counseling. Although it might not seem like a big deal, but as every addict and alcoholic learns early on, it can be a literal lifesaver.
There is a curious phenomenon with addicts and alcoholics: no matter how much evidence is in front of us, no matter how many times we try, we still think we can do everything on our own. “Surrender to win? That’s stupid! That doesn’t even make sense!”
To think people say that addicts and alcoholics lack willpower
If anything, we have far too much willpower. We endure all manner of crazy situations, but even if it is the last thing we do, we insist that we will beat this by ourselves. For some, that actually does end up being the last thing we do.
Our own best thinking got us throw into a drug addiction or alcoholism treatment facility; clearly we do not always have the best ideas. On call counseling, though, is our filter—rather than relying on our own well-intentioned-but-faulty thinking, we have someone else who is experienced enough to recognize a bad idea whenever it pops up.
You may need on call counseling when you least expect it
For instance: let’s say you have 60 days. That’s a remarkable achievement, so you decide to celebrate by going to a club. It is the first time you’ve been in that environment since getting clean and sober, and the missing drink begins to feel ever more noticeable. That awkward self-awareness keeps whittling away at you, and you didn’t tell anyone else that you were going. Suddenly, all that hard work means little, and you pick up the drink.
Rarely do we intend on that happening, but it does come up. By using on call counseling services, you can bounce the idea of going to one of these establishments early on in recovery and see if that is the wisest idea.
Sometimes, it simply won’t be in the addict or alcoholic’s best interest. Other times, you might get the suggestion to bring a sober friend. Even if you don’t bring it up beforehand, you can still call while at the club when you notice that itch to drink or use rising up again, and many times, just having the other sober voice on the other end of the line can be enough to keep the demons away.
Even if things are going smoothly, it is still a good idea to check in regularly. With a counselor who knows you well and with whom you develop a history, they might see changes in you that you yourself may not notice. Of course, this can avert major issues from coming up in the first place. It can take many years and work to establish a relationship like this, but it is one that is never regretted.
If you have never had on-call counseling services offered before in treatment, it might be the missing component that makes long-term recovery possible if we are willing and desperate enough to do some simple things.