A number of psychological treatments can help people who experience problems with alcohol or other drug use.
Most people have mixed feelings about their alcohol and other drug use. Motivational interviewing is a technique that psychologists use to help people explore their doubts and indecision about making changes to their drug use.
Psychologists can often provide helpful assistance in one or two sessions. This may involve providing information about harm minimisation techniques, such as staying as safe and healthy as possible if you choose to use alcohol and other drugs.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
CBT helps you change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that can contribute to alcohol and other drug use, and aims to build skills to manage cravings for alcohol and other drugs when they arise.
Mindfulness is a state of being open to your experiences in the present moment. Mindfulness strategies can help you respond to feelings and sensations associated with alcohol and other drugs by paying attention to them, rather than avoiding them. Psychologists can help you learn to be more accepting of your thoughts and sensations, less overwhelmed and distressed by them, and better able to cope.
Some people decide to stop drinking or using drugs altogether. Psychologists can use a community reinforcement approach to help you organise your life so that the benefits of not using alcohol or other drugs outweigh the benefits of continuing.
Couples and family therapy
Psychologists can help couples or families where one or more of the members is drinking or using other drugs. You may also find couples or family therapy helpful if you have noticed your own alcohol and other drug use affecting your relationship with others.
Some medications can help you to reduce your use or alcohol or other drugs, or help you to continue not to use once you have stopped. Talk to your GP about the options.