Substance Abuse, whether of alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs, or even overeating, is a common problem in people of all social and economic classes, and both genders.

If you are a struggling with substance abuse, know that you are not alone.

As a first step, you might benefit from a range of medical and psychological supports. Cocaine addicts, for example, can benefit in the short term from medication, which can be prescribed by a doctor. Support groups, such as the well-known twelve-step programmes espoused by groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and group therapy, can also provide invaluable help, as can a range of self-help techniques. Some substance abusers will also benefit from a period in a rehab institution, in which they are enabled to become completely “clean” while also experiencing a range of therapies designed to foster healing.

Treating Substance Abuse with Psychotherapy

However, if you are really committed to long-term healing, psychotherapy is very important. People who live with addiction problems run the risk of relapsing when they once again face difficulties in their personal or professional lives. Stress, contact with other substance abusers, and psychological triggers specific to you can all awaken the problem.

Psychotherapy can provide an effective long term treatment for substance abuse by using therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy to recognise the emotions and behaviours implicated in the abuse and learning how to replace unhelpful emotions and behaviours with more positive ones. Psychotherapy can also help by looking closely at any underlying disorders – like depression, untreated trauma, ADHD and early life experiences – that may be contributing to the problem.

Because every substance abuser has a unique life story, each will need an approach to treatment that is specifically designed for them. In some cases, it may be helpful to involve family members in the treatment. The best treatment for you will be tailored to your special needs.

Because addition is a life-long condition, even in people who have successfully stayed “on the wagon” it may be useful to avail of psychological support periodically even when the problem is no longer active.

If you would like to talk to someone about substance abuse, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 81507563 or by email to:

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I have been very impressed with the Private Therapy clinic. An assessment of my daughter for ADHD was made efficiently and caringly. I was even moved to start talking with a psychologist myself for the first time in many years - it's proving very interesting and yielding results already.

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