substance abuse


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what is addiction?

A key sign of addiction is continued use of a substance despite negative consequences

Individuals who have an addiction experience an intense focus on using certain substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs. This preoccupation and the use itself may make it difficult to function effectively in daily life. Someone with an addiction may try to stop using on their own without success, or keep using a substance despite awareness that their use is causing harm to themselves and their relationships. 

While drug or substance use may start out as recreational or in the context of social situations, for some people the use becomes more frequent. For others, especially opiates like heroin, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications. Eventually you may need the drug just to feel normal. You may experience intense cravings or withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using the drug on your own, which makeS it increasingly difficult to stop without support.

common signs associated with addiction
  • Strong desire or urge (craving) to use the substance

  • Substance is taken in larger amounts and over a longer period of time than intended

  • Persistent desire or unsuccesful effort to cut down or control substance use

  • Important social, work, or family activities are given up or reduced because of the substance use

  • Failing to meet occupational or relationship committments or duties due to substance use

  • Relationships are strained or damaged because of continued use

  • Tolerance or the need for larger amounts to get the same effect, or experiencing little effect with continued use of the same amount

  • Experience of withdrawal symptoms or continued use of the substance to avoid withdrawl symptoms

  • Substance is used in risky settings; continued use despite known problems


NYC Therapists Who Specialize in Addiction and Substance Abuse

Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

What does treatment for addiction look like?

There are a variety of different therapeutic approaches to treating addiction


The first step is recognition that there is a problem. It’s difficult for the recovery process to start if a person lacks awareness regarding their substance use. All patients can benefit from treatment, regardless of the severity of their issue. Addiction affects many aspects of a person’s life and multiple types of treatment are often required. Treatment approaches include a focus on an individual’s specific situation and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social concerns to help promote sustained recovery.

addiction treatment may include
  • Hospitalization for withdrawal management (detoxification) under medical supervision

  • Therapeutic communities (highly controlled, drug-free environments) or sober living houses

  • Outpatient medication management and psychotherapy

  • Intensive outpatient programs

  • Residential or inpatient treatment (“rehab”)

  • Joining a mutual-aid group such asSMART Recovery or 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

  • Self-help groups where family members can get support (Al-Anon or Nar-Anon Family Groups)

How can therapy help?

Sobriety provides a great foundation for individual therapy

Therapists at Clarity Therapy provide psychotherapy for clients who are looking for additional support in their recovery. You’ll experience the benefits of attending therapy tenfold if you’re able to gain some time in sobriety and are no longer regularly using substances.

Our therapists can help you learn and implement effective new coping skills, set boundaries, and uncover what a fulfilling life in recovery looks like for you. Below are some of the therapeutic approaches we use:

Insight-Oriented Therapy (Psychodynamic)

Insight-oriented therapy is based on the belief that through increased consciousness we can create new life experiences. This therapeutic process involves the therapist and client exploring and gaining a better understanding of how feelings, beliefs, actions, and events from the past may be influencing our current mindset and circumstances. The goal of insight-oriented therapy is to empower you with a sense of clarity so that you have the freedom to make new, adaptive, and healthier choices that support your continuing growth.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This process is focused on addressing thought patterns, physical symptoms, and behaviors. Research shows that CBT is a very effective form of treating a variety of issues. Through compassionate and supportive care, we hope to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable in starting the process toward growth and reducing the feelings of depression and anxiety you may be feeling.

Mindfulness Practices

Through consistent practice, like meditation, we become more focused on the present and understand our experience in the here-and-now. Mindfulness teaches us to shift our attention away from negative thought patterns that lead to the unsatisfactory and problematic thoughts and behaviors and move toward positive and meaningful growth. Mindfulness can be used alone or combined with insight-oriented therapy and CBT.

interested in therapy?

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To learn more about how we can help, schedule a complimentary consultation with a therapist who specializes in recovery from addiction.


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Alyssa Digges, MA
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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Begoña Núñez Sánchez, LP
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Carole Taylor-Tumilty, LCSW
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Daniel Rich, LMHC
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Janel Coleman, LMSW
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Jen Oddo, LCSW
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Jessa Navidé, Psy.D.
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Karen Kaur, Ph.D
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Nicole Maselli, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Regina Musicaro, Ph.D
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