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Grief Counseling and Addiction Treatment

Grief Counseling and Addiction TreatmentGrief is about more than the loss of a life. Addiction and Grief: Letting Go of Fear, Anger and Addiction (2011) reveals that grief isn’t about death, it’s about loss. According to The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction (2012) loss can lead to the following emotions:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Detachment
  • Numbness

These feelings can be overwhelming and defeating, cause changes in your personality and routine, and cause you to lose interest in activities you once found enjoyable. Most devastatingly, these emotions can cause you to turn to substance abuse. Drugs can offer simple-seeming solutions to emotions that feel as though they are taking over. Some drugs can provide temporary surges in dopamine or energy, while others offer numbness. Once you begin turning to drugs as a means of coping, doing so becomes a habit and quickly leads to dependence and addiction. Addiction will, in turn, lead to greater loss and grief, as drugs isolate users from friends and families.

Treating Grief and Addiction

The Science Daily article “Addicted to Grief?” explains that grief itself can be addictive. Grief and addiction are closely tied, as they share common causes, symptoms and recovery needs. Any effective therapy option needs to address these co-occurring issues, as leaving grief and loss unaddressed can lead to relapse. An integrated treatment program will use a variety of counseling and therapy services to create a lasting and holistic recovery.

The article “Grief Work with Substance Abusers” in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment explains the benefits of group therapy for grief and addiction recovery. Participating in these therapy sessions resulted in resolution of painful feelings and less depression. The article stresses that the specific forms of therapy used in groups can and should vary to meet the needs of each group. Addiction treatment centers offer many forms of one-on-one and group therapy and can offer programs tailored to individual needs.

Find Specialized Treatment for Grief and Addiction

You can find lasting and effective addiction treatment that includes counseling for overcoming grief. We understand the impact loss can have on your life, and we want to help you move forward. Please call our toll-free helpline to gain access to caring and compassionate treatment programs that offer treatment tailored to your unique needs. Our counselors are available 24 hours to take your call.