Drug Addiction Counselling Services in Calgary
The short story
Drug counselling is available at Sana Psychological for those unsure if they have an issue with drugs, those who know they have an issue and are starting to explore treatment, as well as those who have been in long-term recovery. Support is also available for family members and loved ones who are currently being impacted by another person’s unhealthy relationship with substance use. Treatment can be short-term (3-6 months) or long-term (6+ months) depending on needs and preference. Typically, long-term support is recommended as Addiction involving drugs is a chronic condition and impacts many other aspects of health. However, if this is not possible then we will work to provide you with coping strategies and points of reflection that you can carry forward. The initial session or two involves background information gathering to get to know you, your challenges, and strengths. Recommendations and strategies will be provided along the way and collaboratively we will discuss treatment goals and general plan. Cost is $200/session and these appointments can be accessed in person or by phone or video. All it takes to get started is an e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment.
The long story
How do you know if you or a loved one has a problem?
Some red flags of problematic alcohol use include:
Addiction is Not a Choice
It is important for you to remember that you did not choose what is happening to you right now. A struggle with drug use does not define your personality or represent who you are, it is a symptom and a medical condition that it is important to seek treatment for. That is where drug counselling can help.
The initial 1-2 sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about you, including: Strengths, available coping network and tools, challenges, as well as information about your relationship with substances. Information is gathered to know about all parts of you, not just your relationship with drugs. Drug counselling is about much more than just your consumption of substances, as drug use typically starts to increase for a variety of reasons and there will be many areas of life that you can start to address to support a reduction in drug use, such as relationships, feelings processing, physical health, sleep hygiene, pain management, and more.
Paige Abbott has been trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and also incorporates elements of solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and Twelve Step Facilitation into her sessions. Follow-up appointments generally involve a check-in to see presenting issues and immediate things that have come up that you may want to process, follow-up on any suggestions provided in past appointments to get an idea of progress as well as roadblocks that are coming up, followed by more in-depth exploration of challenges, patterns, and coping. Sessions are active and engaged as Paige likes to ask lots of questions and provide reflections, challenges, and psychoeducation along the way. At any point if the therapeutic approach or goals need to be changed, please speak up and this will be processed. Sessions come from a non-judgmental, compassionate, empathetic place. We are here to support you in doing different and being different.
Sessions are offered in person in Calgary, Alberta or by using Technology Assisted Counselling which can consist of phone or video sessions depending on need and preference. Cost is $200/session. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta at the time of appointment as this is Paige Abbott’s jurisdiction of licensure. Payment options include cash, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a number of different insurance carriers.
Drug counselling can be short or long-term, depending on your needs. Paige Abbott, Registered Psychologist at Sana Psychological, prefers to meet with people over a longer period of time (6+ months) to ensure sustainability and maintenance of progress as problematic drug use tends to ebb and flow. If this does not work for your needs, that is okay too. We will do as much work as we can in the available sessions to get you building a healthy recovery plan that you can tailor as needed. All it takes to get started is an e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment.
For loved ones
The Many Faces of Addiction Involving Drugs
Below are some quick examples to show you the diversity of people who can develop issues with drugs, as well as the diversity of the issues themselves.
Fran: Started using prescribed opiates after a routine surgery and found her consumption increasingly went up and she believed she could no longer live without these substances. Eventually her doctor stopped prescribing her the medication at the dose she felt she required and she sought to supplement her supply on the street.
Joe: Is a young adult who was introduced to drugs at parties during his teenage years. His friends seemed to move away from recreational drug use but his progressed.
Samantha: Is a married mother of three kids who started using cocaine to manage her weight as she has struggled with life-long body image and food-related issues.
Lance: Is a healthcare provider who started using opioids to relax after difficult shifts and cope with some of the past traumatic things he has been exposed to at work. He found himself taking substances from work and has recently been found out.
The Recovery Journey
For most, the journey of recovery with alcohol Addiction involves an initial detoxification period.
Sometimes medical support is required for this detoxification. Though this detoxification is not fatal or life-threatening, it can be extremely uncomfortable and may be difficult to go through without medical support. External referrals and recommendations can be provided for this, as well you can ask your family doctor or medical professional for support. If you do not feel ready for detoxification, there is still lots that you can start exploring and changing in your life, which can help increase motivation and readiness to start stepping back from drug use.
During and after this period of detoxification, recovery action will be occurring. This can mean an exploration of underlying patterns and vulnerabilities, getting to understand triggers, identify other areas where compulsive or addictive behaviour may be active, as well as starting to explore and spend time developing relationship with self. Relationships will continue during this time but may look different as you start to detach from environments and people who bring with them a higher risk of exposure to drugs and triggers. The first 3-6 months of recovery will be a period of tremendous growth and feeling; it is often uncomfortable and is a vulnerable time where the likelihood of relapse is high. Withdrawal and change are uncomfortable, but they come with great benefit. After six months, changes are more established and have become routine so things feel less effortful. The lifelong work involves continued awareness of triggers, vulnerabilities, boundaries, and ongoing development of relationship with self.
Wherever you are at in this journey, it is an honour and a privilege for Sana Psychological to be a part of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes. Direct billing is available with most major insurers, including Alberta Blue Cross. Direct billing is not currently available for psychological services with SunLife or Manulife. You can see a list of insurance providers with who we can direct bill with here. It is the client’s responsibility to understand their policy and the total coverage available.