Our therapists are here to listen and offer guidance in difficult times without any judgment. We often see individuals and families effected by substance use or dependency related concerns. If you are not sure if you have a problem, then following information is relevant for you to read:

Here are some signs that you or a loved one might be struggling with substance use or dependence issues: 

  • Experimentation or increased consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs

  • Behavioral Changes (increased irritability, anger or aggression, risk taking, etc.)

  • Sudden Mood Changes

  • Decreased Psychosocial Functioning (Tardiness or Missing work or other events, performance decline at work or school, disorganization, increased relationship problems, financial losses)

  • Physical Symptoms (unkempt physical appearance, bloodshot or glazed eyes, dilated pupils, abrupt weight changes, bruises or infections).


A person who does not realize or might be questioning if they have addiction problem goes through a pre-contemplation phase of recovery. This is where an addiction specialist or counselor can meet with you to explore the symptoms, and assess before offering feedback and treatment options that might be ideal to your unique situation. Substance Abuse Counseling might be one of the options.

Watch the video by our clinician, Erin Moore, to learn about Substance Abuse Counseling:

You might be wondering about some common therapy methods used for substance use treatment & how does it work? 

Every therapist has specific training or preferred method in Substance Abuse Counseling such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing, just to name some. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is based on the trans-theoretical model of recovery, while using this method intrinsic motivation is elicited from the client, to give his or her recovery efforts meaning and direction. This model values therapeutic relationship to a great extent, and encourages the client to examine on ambivalence to change. A MI therapist understands that readiness to change is not a trait but a fluctuating result of interpersonal interaction between therapist and the client.

Other methods are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize their thoughts and behaviors, triggers, learn positive thought process, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs.

  • Multidimensional family therapy—developed for adolescents with drug abuse problems as well as their families—which addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning.

  • Motivational incentives (contingency management), which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs.

  • 12-Step program

It is important to evaluate, who can benefit from office-based Substance Abuse Counseling or Substance Abuse treatment? 

Individuals who are willing to visit a drug counselor or behavioral health counselor on a regular schedule and don’t need more restricted treatment such as Inpatient Rehabilitation or Detox. In substance use counseling a variety of issues may be treated for such as:

Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamine, Nitrites, poppers, Cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD, Magic mushrooms, Solvents (aerosols, gases and glues), Minor tranquillizers (not prescribed), Heroin, Crack cocaine, Synthetic Marijuana, Bath Salts, Fentanyl, Molly, N-BOMe, etc.

During pre-contemplation phase of recovery people often question if seeing a counselor or a therapist will help them. So, here are some benefits for consulting with a substance use specialist or behavioral health counselor? 

Professional substance abuse or behavioral health counselor will complete a substance abuse assessment that will help determine severity of the addiction. Individuals who are interested in learning more about addiction will get to ask questions and better understand the extent of one's alcohol or drug use. Determining the impact of these substances may be having in someone's life and the lives of those around them is an important first step in recovery. Developing goals and appropriate treatment steps can encourage and support those who are struggling with addiction. A substance use counselor may gather information such as:

  • How is the person's general health?

  • Does the person have a stable work history? Are they currently employed?

  • Is the person enrolled in school and attending classes?

  • What are the relationships like with those around them? Are they distancing themselves?

  • What is the level of their self-esteem?

  • Has the person experienced a major loss, such as a friend or family member passing away?

  • Has the person displayed any signs of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety?

  • What are some of the obstacles someone has to navigate to get themselves into treatment?


These are fairly simple questions that can help you and your counselor develop a treatment plan and set forth some goals. Research have shown addiction and behavioral health issues go hand-on-hand in majority of the cases. Drugs and alcohol is often abused to self-medicate or mask the underlying or unresolved issues. There are better ways of coping instead of use or dependency on substance. There is a hope, talking to a professional can help you resolve issues that are difficult to uncover on your own. If you are feeling alone, confidential and safe place like in therapy is for you. 

At Wake Counseling, we have the expertise and knowledge to assist individuals struggling with substance use or addiction.

You can easily make an appointment online:

Call at 919-647-4600 ext. 1, for questions and help with scheduling your appointments.

By email: info@wakecounseling.com

Cary Counseling Practice

Wake Counseling & Mediation
1148 Executive Cir, #6
Cary, NC  27511
(919) 647-4600

Holly Springs Counseling Practice

Wake Counseling & Mediation
364 Raleigh St
Holly Springs, NC  27540
(919) 647-4600