Drug and alcohol addictions are  physical dependencies, as the individual has a psychological as well as physical addiction to a chemical substance. The substance is often a form of escape for the user. Individuals who have become addicted to substances often have numerous underlying issues they are unable to deal with, hence the need to escape.

Counselling is a critical part of the treatment for drug and alcohol addictions, since those issues beneath the surface must be addressed. Simply treating the physical addiction from a medical perspective, despite the importance of medical intervention as well, will not help the substance addict because those underlying hurts would remain unresolved and compel the individual to seek escape again. Substance abuse is best treated as a joint process of counselling and medical treatment.

Recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction requires more than just becoming abstinent. This is not to say that achieving abstinence is not a huge deal; it is and it is tremendous milestone in your life. There is a major difference though between someone who is abstinent and someone who is abstinent and in recovery. Addicts that become abstinent without engaging in a recovery program will often be angry, sad, or frustrated. While we all have those moods on occasion, this will likely be the “normal” mood for this person. The addict does not seek therapy and engage in recovery work, does not enjoy being sober and sorely misses the comfortable feelings which he or she felt as a result of their using. The alcohol or drugs provided the addict with an “ability” to ignore his or her feelings and emotions and now that they are abstinent, their true feelings are beginning to surface. For someone not in recovery, this is an extremely difficult situation to be in and can cause lots of emotional turmoil. Hence the name, “dry drunk”. If you have been using alcohol or drugs for a period of time, you do not know how to implement healthy coping mechanisms and a person cannot go through life happily without them. You deserve a lot better than that!

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