Addiction Therapists in Victoria, BC

Photo of Tanise Ambers, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Tanise Ambers
Counsellor, RTC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8Z
If you are suffering with trauma, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, a loss of a loved one, parenting issues or simply in need of guidance in your life; I am here for you.
The deepest desire of a human is to belong…to be heard…and to be accepted… Sometimes life presents us with difficulties that are tough to manage or resolve on our own. There are times when we need to ask for help in order to find ourselves and to move forward. As a person and a counsellor, I know that life’s challenges can happen at all stages of our lives at multiple levels and that every situation is unique to us alone. Circumstances that can challenge how we think, how we perceive, how we believe and how we respond.
If you are suffering with trauma, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, a loss of a loved one, parenting issues or simply in need of guidance in your life; I am here for you.
The deepest desire of a human is to belong…to be heard…and to be accepted… Sometimes life presents us with difficulties that are tough to manage or resolve on our own. There are times when we need to ask for help in order to find ourselves and to move forward. As a person and a counsellor, I know that life’s challenges can happen at all stages of our lives at multiple levels and that every situation is unique to us alone. Circumstances that can challenge how we think, how we perceive, how we believe and how we respond.
(778) 761-2481 View (778) 761-2481
Photo of Amanda Fowler in Victoria, BC
Amanda Fowler
BScN, RN
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8X  (Online Only)
This may be your first time working with a therapist or maybe a venture away from avenues you've explored so far. I'm happy to meet you at any stage of your journey and offer kindness and empathy while walking that path with you. In particular, I have a compassionate understanding of the struggles known by those experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD/CPTSD, bipolar disorder, OCD, BPD, grief, and difficulty with relationships, self-esteem, and intimacy. I’ve worked extensively with first responders and military. Under unbearable weight, I understand that addiction and self-harming patterns are often a means of coping.
This may be your first time working with a therapist or maybe a venture away from avenues you've explored so far. I'm happy to meet you at any stage of your journey and offer kindness and empathy while walking that path with you. In particular, I have a compassionate understanding of the struggles known by those experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD/CPTSD, bipolar disorder, OCD, BPD, grief, and difficulty with relationships, self-esteem, and intimacy. I’ve worked extensively with first responders and military. Under unbearable weight, I understand that addiction and self-harming patterns are often a means of coping.
(587) 608-5822 View (587) 608-5822
Photo of Jake McPhee, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Victoria, BC
Jake McPhee
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V9B
Areas of speciality include depression, LGBTQ identities, substance addiction, couples work and body image/self esteem.
You’ve made the decision to choose change! Growth is essential to the human experience and I look forward to helping you make positive changes to your life. I have extensive history working with substance addictions & all forms of mental health. I aim to create a space where you can have a real, intentional, meaningful experience; I will meet you where you are at and work with you to reveal your strengths and goals. I approach my work with care, compassion and a dash of humour! I use a variety of modalities (such as CBT, ACT, MI) that I cater to your needs and situation. My counselling is collaborative and prioritizes your needs.
Areas of speciality include depression, LGBTQ identities, substance addiction, couples work and body image/self esteem.
You’ve made the decision to choose change! Growth is essential to the human experience and I look forward to helping you make positive changes to your life. I have extensive history working with substance addictions & all forms of mental health. I aim to create a space where you can have a real, intentional, meaningful experience; I will meet you where you are at and work with you to reveal your strengths and goals. I approach my work with care, compassion and a dash of humour! I use a variety of modalities (such as CBT, ACT, MI) that I cater to your needs and situation. My counselling is collaborative and prioritizes your needs.
(289) 207-6416 View (289) 207-6416
Photo of Hanna Shapiro, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Hanna Shapiro
Counsellor, MA, RCC
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8W
I am an RCC specializing in treating addiction, trauma, mood disorders, and interpersonal issues. My approach is rooted in the belief that a greater awareness of where our actions and reactions come from can give us the power to change. I work with my clients to understand how their attachment styles and life experiences have informed how they relate to others and to themselves. With this knowledge we work together to address unwanted behaviours and implement new coping skills for emotional regulation and communication.
I am an RCC specializing in treating addiction, trauma, mood disorders, and interpersonal issues. My approach is rooted in the belief that a greater awareness of where our actions and reactions come from can give us the power to change. I work with my clients to understand how their attachment styles and life experiences have informed how they relate to others and to themselves. With this knowledge we work together to address unwanted behaviours and implement new coping skills for emotional regulation and communication.
(778) 901-6254 View (778) 901-6254
Photo of Lauren Kniewasser, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Lauren Kniewasser
Counsellor, MA, RCC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8V  (Online Only)
Two Spirit, Queer, and Trans friendly and accepting new clients! I am a settler from unceded Algonquin territory living on the traditional territory of the Dane-zaa Nation. I am a strong believer in social justice and I work with adults, teens, and families who want support with anxiety, depression, trauma, systemic oppression and bullying, substance use, family and relationship conflict, 2Slgbtqia+ identity, attachment wounds, and whatever you feel you need support with! I love nature and outdoor sports, expressing myself through art, and laughing with friends. Humour and playing help me feel alive and most like myself.
Two Spirit, Queer, and Trans friendly and accepting new clients! I am a settler from unceded Algonquin territory living on the traditional territory of the Dane-zaa Nation. I am a strong believer in social justice and I work with adults, teens, and families who want support with anxiety, depression, trauma, systemic oppression and bullying, substance use, family and relationship conflict, 2Slgbtqia+ identity, attachment wounds, and whatever you feel you need support with! I love nature and outdoor sports, expressing myself through art, and laughing with friends. Humour and playing help me feel alive and most like myself.
(579) 977-1144 View (579) 977-1144
Photo of Christopher Ashforth, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Christopher Ashforth
Counsellor, MC, RCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8P
We will work on identifying and changing patterns, environmental, and relational factors that are contributing to your drinking, substance use, and anxiety.
Weekend & Evening Availability. You might be facing a setback, and it can be hard to stay positive and not lose faith in your dreams. I know how you feel, I have been there too. I can help you create a plan to change your relationship with substances, or anxiety, and move you towards a more meaningful & fulfilling life. I offer in-person weekend sessions on saturdays and sundays, and online sessions mondays and tuesdays.
We will work on identifying and changing patterns, environmental, and relational factors that are contributing to your drinking, substance use, and anxiety.
Weekend & Evening Availability. You might be facing a setback, and it can be hard to stay positive and not lose faith in your dreams. I know how you feel, I have been there too. I can help you create a plan to change your relationship with substances, or anxiety, and move you towards a more meaningful & fulfilling life. I offer in-person weekend sessions on saturdays and sundays, and online sessions mondays and tuesdays.
(705) 996-6301 View (705) 996-6301
Photo of Alan Boden, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Alan Boden
Counsellor, MA, RCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8N
Are you struggling with troubling issues in your important relationships? Not feeling heard or respected? Do you feel defensive, or attacked by your partner and can't trust or feel supported in your relationship. Or perhaps you're a man struggling with a drug, alcohol, gambling, internet or porn addiction that is consuming too much of your life. Do you have a teen that is struggling with confidence, anxiety and motivation? Are you overwhelmed by anxiety most of the time, and can't relax, or feel safe? These are all issues that I have successfully worked with in the past.
Are you struggling with troubling issues in your important relationships? Not feeling heard or respected? Do you feel defensive, or attacked by your partner and can't trust or feel supported in your relationship. Or perhaps you're a man struggling with a drug, alcohol, gambling, internet or porn addiction that is consuming too much of your life. Do you have a teen that is struggling with confidence, anxiety and motivation? Are you overwhelmed by anxiety most of the time, and can't relax, or feel safe? These are all issues that I have successfully worked with in the past.
(581) 501-5038 View (581) 501-5038
Photo of Joelene Heathcote Registered Counsellor, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Joelene Heathcote Registered Counsellor
Counsellor, BA, MFA, RTC
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8R
I support clients managing emotional challenges, BPD traits, depression, OCD, perfectionism, negative internal dialogue, addiction, grief, trauma, and difficult family dynamics. Together we explore a client's history, experience, emotions, and develop better skills for managing challenges. Often old coping strategies are no longer serving the client. Developing relational intimacy with others, and more compassionate communication with self is integral to my work with individuals and families. Together we find solutions for healing and moving forward in healthy ways so clients can align more authenticly with themselves.
I support clients managing emotional challenges, BPD traits, depression, OCD, perfectionism, negative internal dialogue, addiction, grief, trauma, and difficult family dynamics. Together we explore a client's history, experience, emotions, and develop better skills for managing challenges. Often old coping strategies are no longer serving the client. Developing relational intimacy with others, and more compassionate communication with self is integral to my work with individuals and families. Together we find solutions for healing and moving forward in healthy ways so clients can align more authenticly with themselves.
(672) 202-3647 View (672) 202-3647
Photo of Plum Blossom Counselling Inc., Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Plum Blossom Counselling Inc.
Counsellor, MA, RCC, CSAT, SEP, CPTT
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V9A
I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist; for problematic sexual behaviour, Internet Gaming Disorder, a Certified Partner Trauma Therapist for partners of those struggling with compulsive sexual behaviour, and I use Somatic Experiencing, CPT and Prolonged Exposure, and to help individuals heal from trauma including complex trauma.
Do you feel you’re not living the life that you want for yourself? Do you find that you repeat patterns of behaviour that you realize aren’t serving you and are keeping you from meaningful connections and intimate relationships? I can support you to heal from chemical and behavioural addictions (compulsive sexual behaviours, problematic pornography use, intimacy disorders, internet gaming), childhood, attachment, and/or family of origin wounds, unhealthy financial behaviours, and mental health (depression, anxiety, etc.). I work with individuals who have experienced trauma, PTSD, Complex PTSD, sexual trauma, and First Responders.
I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist; for problematic sexual behaviour, Internet Gaming Disorder, a Certified Partner Trauma Therapist for partners of those struggling with compulsive sexual behaviour, and I use Somatic Experiencing, CPT and Prolonged Exposure, and to help individuals heal from trauma including complex trauma.
Do you feel you’re not living the life that you want for yourself? Do you find that you repeat patterns of behaviour that you realize aren’t serving you and are keeping you from meaningful connections and intimate relationships? I can support you to heal from chemical and behavioural addictions (compulsive sexual behaviours, problematic pornography use, intimacy disorders, internet gaming), childhood, attachment, and/or family of origin wounds, unhealthy financial behaviours, and mental health (depression, anxiety, etc.). I work with individuals who have experienced trauma, PTSD, Complex PTSD, sexual trauma, and First Responders.
(587) 404-4712 View (587) 404-4712
Photo of Lori Cunningham, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Lori Cunningham
Counsellor, RTC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8Z
If you are suffering through anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, a loss of a loved one, parenting issues or simply in need of guidance in your life; I am here for you.
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that we have a difficult time managing on our own. The good new is we don't have to. You have taking the first step. I know it can sometimes feel like there’s no way out and this is just the way you are, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not and there is. Together we are going to work to breakthrough the things that have been bringing you down, getting in your way, and holding you back –Collaboratively, we will work to help you gain the skills and confidence needed to live your best life possible. I am committed to providing a safe, non-judgemental counselling experience.
If you are suffering through anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, a loss of a loved one, parenting issues or simply in need of guidance in your life; I am here for you.
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that we have a difficult time managing on our own. The good new is we don't have to. You have taking the first step. I know it can sometimes feel like there’s no way out and this is just the way you are, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not and there is. Together we are going to work to breakthrough the things that have been bringing you down, getting in your way, and holding you back –Collaboratively, we will work to help you gain the skills and confidence needed to live your best life possible. I am committed to providing a safe, non-judgemental counselling experience.
(778) 766-4832 View (778) 766-4832
Photo of Jake Sombrutzki, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Jake Sombrutzki
Counsellor, MACP, RCC
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V9A  (Online Only)
Are you struggling with daily life, goals, or your relationship with yourself or others? Do fear, anxiety, low self-worth, setting boundaries, or anger hold you back? I offer a collaborative, non-judgmental approach focused on helping you rediscover your self-worth and innate ability to navigate life's challenges. With a background in addiction treatment and a diverse upbringing, I integrate Eastern philosophy and spirituality into my practice. I presently exclusively offer online sessions while working closely with a dedicated team at Strength Counselling Services.
Are you struggling with daily life, goals, or your relationship with yourself or others? Do fear, anxiety, low self-worth, setting boundaries, or anger hold you back? I offer a collaborative, non-judgmental approach focused on helping you rediscover your self-worth and innate ability to navigate life's challenges. With a background in addiction treatment and a diverse upbringing, I integrate Eastern philosophy and spirituality into my practice. I presently exclusively offer online sessions while working closely with a dedicated team at Strength Counselling Services.
(709) 702-0705 View (709) 702-0705
Photo of Dr. Jacqueline Armour, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Dr. Jacqueline Armour
Drug & Alcohol Counsellor, PhD, CSAT, ICADC, CPTT
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8T
Are you struggling with addiction or the betrayal trauma of a loved one's addiction? My name is Jacqueline Armour and I would be honored to help. I understand the unique challenges of sex addiction and the impact it can have on relationships. With years of experience and extensive training in the field, my team and I offer a safe and compassionate space for individuals and couples to heal and regain control of their lives. Our expertise extends beyond sex addiction, we also provide support for those struggling with substance abuse, recognizing the complex interplay between addiction and mental health.
Are you struggling with addiction or the betrayal trauma of a loved one's addiction? My name is Jacqueline Armour and I would be honored to help. I understand the unique challenges of sex addiction and the impact it can have on relationships. With years of experience and extensive training in the field, my team and I offer a safe and compassionate space for individuals and couples to heal and regain control of their lives. Our expertise extends beyond sex addiction, we also provide support for those struggling with substance abuse, recognizing the complex interplay between addiction and mental health.
(855) 982-9605 View (855) 982-9605
Photo of Christine Petra Hegedus, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Christine Petra Hegedus
Counsellor, BA, MA
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8W
This often leads to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, burnout and/or a sense of nihilism and lack of meaning.
Hello and welcome. I am a Master's level counsellor (RCC, MA - University of Victoria) who specializes in three main (often overlapping) areas: addictions, neurodivergence and complex trauma. As a therapist, my goal is to help you understand who you are and to help you make sense of what happened to you, so that you can move forward in a more conscious and intentional way. Beyond self-awareness, I believe the purpose of therapy is to transform the negative emotional patterns and beliefs that have been influencing your thoughts, behaviors and relationships.
This often leads to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, burnout and/or a sense of nihilism and lack of meaning.
Hello and welcome. I am a Master's level counsellor (RCC, MA - University of Victoria) who specializes in three main (often overlapping) areas: addictions, neurodivergence and complex trauma. As a therapist, my goal is to help you understand who you are and to help you make sense of what happened to you, so that you can move forward in a more conscious and intentional way. Beyond self-awareness, I believe the purpose of therapy is to transform the negative emotional patterns and beliefs that have been influencing your thoughts, behaviors and relationships.
(249) 702-2978 View (249) 702-2978
Photo of Michelle McLean, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Michelle McLean
Counsellor, MEd, CCC
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8P  (Online Only)
My background is in cancer care, addiction, and workplace stress, with specializations in mood concerns (depression, anxiety), loss and grief (death, pet loss, unexpected life transitions, identity crises), health and illness (health anxiety, chronic pain), addiction (substance use, recovery, behavioural), and trauma (veterans, first responders).
Feeling overwhelmed by frustrated needs, responsibilities, being overlooked in love or work, losing someone important, health concerns, or a relentless internal critic? Does this lead to sadness, despair, rage, dread, or shame that feels too heavy to bear? Do you cope by numbing, lashing out at loved ones, engaging in addictive behaviours, socially isolating, or avoiding what matters? We can grow weary managing this chaos of life alone, yet asking for help is hard. I can lend a hand supporting you to face pain and find meaning in troubled times, lightening the load so you can spread your wings to find more room for joy in life.
My background is in cancer care, addiction, and workplace stress, with specializations in mood concerns (depression, anxiety), loss and grief (death, pet loss, unexpected life transitions, identity crises), health and illness (health anxiety, chronic pain), addiction (substance use, recovery, behavioural), and trauma (veterans, first responders).
Feeling overwhelmed by frustrated needs, responsibilities, being overlooked in love or work, losing someone important, health concerns, or a relentless internal critic? Does this lead to sadness, despair, rage, dread, or shame that feels too heavy to bear? Do you cope by numbing, lashing out at loved ones, engaging in addictive behaviours, socially isolating, or avoiding what matters? We can grow weary managing this chaos of life alone, yet asking for help is hard. I can lend a hand supporting you to face pain and find meaning in troubled times, lightening the load so you can spread your wings to find more room for joy in life.
(236) 904-0588 View (236) 904-0588
Photo of Michelle Bass, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Victoria, BC
Michelle Bass
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, PhD, RSW, RCC
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8W
I can help you overcome substance misuse, depression, anxiety, stress, relationship difficulties and trauma.
I have 25 years of experience and I can help you achieve your goals. I am knowledgeable and skilled in a variety of effective counseling practices including psycho-dynamic, solution- focused and cognitive-behavioral therapy. I will work with you to find the most effective approach that is best suited to your situation. I am compassionate, non-judgmental and will provide you with a safe place to explore your issues. My focus is on you the whole person. My approach is active, goal-directed and collaborative. I can help you feel better and gain a new perspective.
I can help you overcome substance misuse, depression, anxiety, stress, relationship difficulties and trauma.
I have 25 years of experience and I can help you achieve your goals. I am knowledgeable and skilled in a variety of effective counseling practices including psycho-dynamic, solution- focused and cognitive-behavioral therapy. I will work with you to find the most effective approach that is best suited to your situation. I am compassionate, non-judgmental and will provide you with a safe place to explore your issues. My focus is on you the whole person. My approach is active, goal-directed and collaborative. I can help you feel better and gain a new perspective.
(866) 828-9821 View (866) 828-9821
Photo of Monica Freudenreich, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Victoria, BC
Monica Freudenreich
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8T
Waitlist for new clients
Since 2010, I have worked with individuals struggling with trauma, substance use, and chronic health conditions including HIV.
"We are all wired for connection. It’s in our biology. As infants, our need for connection is about survival. As we grow older, connection means thriving – emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. Connection is critical because we all have the basic need to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are” - Brene Brown At the core of my practice, I believe that a meaningful therapeutic connection can spark change. Talk therapy is a powerful tool to build and enhance acceptance, connection, and healing.
Since 2010, I have worked with individuals struggling with trauma, substance use, and chronic health conditions including HIV.
"We are all wired for connection. It’s in our biology. As infants, our need for connection is about survival. As we grow older, connection means thriving – emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. Connection is critical because we all have the basic need to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are” - Brene Brown At the core of my practice, I believe that a meaningful therapeutic connection can spark change. Talk therapy is a powerful tool to build and enhance acceptance, connection, and healing.
(778) 784-5171 View (778) 784-5171
Photo of Pierre Morais in Victoria, BC
Pierre Morais
MC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V9A
I am an experienced clinical counsellor with a Master's degree who specializes in addiction. I have over 25 years of professional experience in this field and over 35 years of personal recovery from addiction myself. I am a published author and have created dozens of videos on addiction and recovery. I was also an instructor at a college for Indigenous counsellors and have also developed some of their curriculum. I have travelled across the country, and at times internationally, giving talks on addiction and training other counsellors. I have also filled in for such notable speakers as Dr Gabor Matte.
I am an experienced clinical counsellor with a Master's degree who specializes in addiction. I have over 25 years of professional experience in this field and over 35 years of personal recovery from addiction myself. I am a published author and have created dozens of videos on addiction and recovery. I was also an instructor at a college for Indigenous counsellors and have also developed some of their curriculum. I have travelled across the country, and at times internationally, giving talks on addiction and training other counsellors. I have also filled in for such notable speakers as Dr Gabor Matte.
(587) 848-3187 View (587) 848-3187
Photo of Des Lynch, Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Des Lynch
Counsellor, MEd , HBSW, BA, RCC, RSW
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8N
I work with individuals who are experiencing, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship difficulties and substance misuse.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed. Are you unhappy in your relationship. Are you or a family member abusing alcohol or mood-altering drugs. I offer a safe, relaxed and confidential environment to talk through your challenges and learn new coping strategies to build resilience in your life.
I work with individuals who are experiencing, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship difficulties and substance misuse.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed. Are you unhappy in your relationship. Are you or a family member abusing alcohol or mood-altering drugs. I offer a safe, relaxed and confidential environment to talk through your challenges and learn new coping strategies to build resilience in your life.
(778) 765-3127 View (778) 765-3127
Photo of John Reilly, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Victoria, BC
John Reilly
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW RSW
Verified Verified
Victoria, BC V8V
Do you experience being held back from feeling fully alive or do you feel like your relationship isn't achieving its fullest potential? Are your experiences living within the complexity of our world today creating difficulties for you or your relationship? I provide individual and couples counselling and therapy for people seeking greater vitality in their lives. I have experience in supporting people recovering from trauma, problematic substance use, anxiety, depression and relationship issues. My skills provide an eclectic palate through which to engage an individual in creative processes of transformation.
Do you experience being held back from feeling fully alive or do you feel like your relationship isn't achieving its fullest potential? Are your experiences living within the complexity of our world today creating difficulties for you or your relationship? I provide individual and couples counselling and therapy for people seeking greater vitality in their lives. I have experience in supporting people recovering from trauma, problematic substance use, anxiety, depression and relationship issues. My skills provide an eclectic palate through which to engage an individual in creative processes of transformation.
(587) 328-1294 View (587) 328-1294
Photo of Sue Donaldson, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor in Victoria, BC
Sue Donaldson
Drug & Alcohol Counsellor, RSW, CCAC, ICADC, CEC, CIP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Victoria, BC V8T
Pegasus Recovery Solutions offers a range of comprehensive services to treat individuals who are dealing with a substance use disorder or process addiction. We also provides education and support to their affected family members. Sue Donaldson, founder and director, is an addictions treatment specialist, with 27 years of experience, who leads a team of excellent professionals at Pegasus.
Pegasus Recovery Solutions offers a range of comprehensive services to treat individuals who are dealing with a substance use disorder or process addiction. We also provides education and support to their affected family members. Sue Donaldson, founder and director, is an addictions treatment specialist, with 27 years of experience, who leads a team of excellent professionals at Pegasus.
(778) 403-7594 View (778) 403-7594

See more therapy options for Victoria


Addiction Counsellors

What is the best therapy for addiction?

Addiction treatment will be tailored to the individual. People seeking help for addiction—whether with a psychotherapist, in an outpatient clinic, or in a residential program—should expect to engage in multiple types of treatments, sometimes including medication. For anyone recovering from addiction, avoiding situations in which one has typically used a substance is essential, as is the support of close connections. Since substance use disorders tend to co-occur with underlying mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, those must also be addressed as part of any recovery plan.

How long does therapy for addiction take?

There is no set timeline for recovery from addiction. Patients and their families should expect the work to last several months, if not longer. Residential treatment programs may be based on a stay of 30, 60, or 90 days, with continuing work after release, but only about 1 percent of people are treated in such facilities. Ceasing use is just the first step; therapy to help maintain abstinence and effect behavior change must follow. The process of recovery, neuroscience has shown, involves brain cells recovering the capacity to respond to natural sources of reward and restore control over the impulse to use. Another definition of recovery is restoring voluntary control over one’s substance use and retaking all of one’s previous responsibilities.

How effective is drug addiction treatment?

Substance use disorders are treatable and remission is achievable for many who seek recovery; by some estimates, more than three-quarters of people who become addicted to alcohol or drugs recover. But that success rarely occurs quickly or on a set timeline; relapse is not only common, but many therapists and clinicians view it as a normal part of the process—not always a sign that a person has returned to addiction, but a signal that their treatment should be adjusted to help them regain control. Overall, research suggests, five years after the end of substance use, one’s risk of relapse is no greater than that of others who had not faced addiction. Other experts believe that complete abstinence is not the only measure of recovery, and that, through effective treatment, many people can learn to control their use.

How can you get addiction treatment for someone?

The most important factor in recovery from addiction is widely understood to be an individual’s commitment to change. For that reason,“interventions” in which friends and family gather to urge or force someone to begin immediate treatment often backfire; even when such efforts do lead someone to begin treatment, they may be less likely to stay than those who are self-driven. Still, family members can play an important role in supporting an individual who seeks help and can take part in family therapy as one element of a loved one’s treatment.