You don’t have to shoulder everything on your own. Whether you’re mildly concerned about your drinking, have a serious drug problem, or aren’t sure if anything needs to change, treatment can help you figure out the direction that’s right for you and how to get there.

The idea of talking with someone new about personal issues can be daunting. It takes courage to even reach out. The fact that you’re reading this means that you’ve taken the first step already to addressing your concerns- gathering information. The first meeting is primarily about getting to know each other, getting a clearer picture of the issues that led you to seek help, and figuring out together how therapy may be able to help you.

Will treatment help for my substance of choice?

Regardless of what substance you use, treatment can help you control your use before it controls you.

Alcohol is by far the most commonly abused substance. Many people develop problems due to its easy accessibility and effectiveness at alleviating anxiety.

Opioid use has risen dramatically in the past several years. Many people start using to deal with physical or emotional pain and develop dependence over time.

Will I have to admit to being an addict/alcoholic in treatment?

No. Treatment will focus on helping you live a life that you value and learning the skills to get there, not on labeling you or pressuring you to accept a label.

Will I be required to completely stop all substance use?

No. People experience a  broad range of problems related to alcohol and drug use and find a broad range of solutions to these problems. Harm reduction has helped many people to reduce the impacts that drug and alcohol use has on their life. Others may find that abstinence is a better choice for them. Treatment can help you determine the path that is right for you.

What if someone else wants me to get treatment, but I’m not sure I have a problem?

Many people enter alcohol and drug treatment when a family member, intimate partner, or court system asks them to seek therapy. We can work together to determine what changes, if any, are right for you. If you do decide to stop or reduce substance use, you don’t have to “want it for yourself”. Any reason to make a healthy change is a good reason.

Can you also work with my mental health issues?

Absolutely. I am a licensed psychologist with extensive education, training and experience working with mental health issues. The idea that substance problems must always be treated separately from mental health issues is outdated. Co-occurring mental health issues such as mood problems, anxiety or trauma are common and targeting both issues in a single treatment may actually be the most effective approach.

What is pre-sentencing counseling?

Many people who use drugs or alcohol come into contact with the criminal justice system, through problems such as DUI, public drunkenness, criminal acts related to impaired judgment while intoxicated, or engaging in criminal acts to support a drug habit, such as selling drugs. Voluntarily seeking treatment before the court has mandated you to do so can reflect favorably on your case and may result in a lesser penalty.