What is Alcohol / Drug / Nicotine Counseling?

This guide is for people who think someone they know (or they themselves) might benefit from alcohol/drug/nicotine related counseling. It answers some of the questions students frequently have about counseling. 
 

What is Alcohol/Drug/Nicotine (ADN) Counseling?

Alcohol / Drug / Nicotine (ADN) counseling is an opportunity to explore your overall health and well being, in relation to personal use of alcohol / drugs or nicotine, or in relation to someone else's use of alcohol / drugs or nicotine. Counseling is a confidential, supportive place to discuss what is happening in your life, with a professional who will:

  • Be caring
  • Listen
  • Provide helpful information
  • Be objective and non-judgmental
  • Explore alternatives

      ADN counseling can be a single meeting consultation, short term (2 to 6 meetings), or longer depending on the goals you want to accomplish.  These meetings will help you address troubling experiences or feelings, or can be used to support changes you wish to make in your life. The demands of college life are stressful enough, and ADN counseling can give you a better chance to succeed academically and in your personal life. The Rutgers University Health Service provides ADN counseling by certified specialists. 

All services are FREE and strictly CONFIDENTIAL

Why do people seek ADN Counseling?

Most people come to ADN counseling after they've had troubling experiences or feelings related to their own, or someone else's use of alcohol / drugs or nicotine. They usually have made repeated attempts to handle these difficult experiences or feelings, without success. Please read through the following list. If any of the following statements describe your situation, you may wish to consider ADN counseling. If any of the following statements apply to someone you know, ADN counseling can help you address your concerns. 

  1. If you drink to get drunk.
  2. If you get intoxicated, use drugs or get high when you didn't intend to.
  3. If you drink or use drugs alone.
  4. If you have experienced loss of memory or blackouts due to drinking and / or drug use. 
  5. If you have gotten involved in fights while drunk or high.
  6. If you drive while drunk or high.
  7. If you drop or choose friends based upon their drinking or drug use.
  8. If you feel you need a drink, drug, or smoke, to be liked in social situations.
  9. If others have expressed concern about your drinking, drug, or nicotine use.
  10. If drinking, drug, or nicotine use is affecting your physical health on an ongoing basis, including insomnia, intestinal disturbances, mental processing, difficulty breathing, etc.
  11. If drinking, drug, or nicotine use is causing conflicts with your family, friends or significant other.
  12. If you need to drink, use drugs, or nicotine in order to enjoy yourself.
  13. If drinking or drug use interferes with your capacity to attend class, study, write papers, or do well on exams.
  14. If you have said or done anything you regretted due to drinking or drug use.
  15. If you have lost the feeling of being in control due to your drinking, drug or nicotine use.
  16. If drinking or drug use results in your having unsafe or unwanted sexual experiences. 
  17. If you are concerned about your drinking, and want to learn to drink responsibly.
  18. If you have unsuccessfully tried to cut down or stop your nicotine use.
  19. If you use nicotine products to control your weight, or instead of eating when you feel hungry.

How do students feel about seeking ADN counseling?

Students often feel hesitant about seeking ADN counseling for a variety of reasons. They may feel they should be able to handle all their problems themselves, or may feel shame or guilt about their difficulties. Those who enter counseling usually have spent a period of time debating within themselves whether to attend or not. Most students have mixed feelings about limiting or ending their use of alcohol / drugs or nicotine. Many have tried to do this without success and are unsure if change is possible. In addition, some students are concerned that if they seek counseling services, this will appear on school records. 

      Despite increasing acceptance of counseling by society, many students feel there is a stigma attached to seeking help. Others feel that attending counseling may mean "I must be crazy", or "I am an addict". Some feel that a counselor will try to convince them they are "addicted", or promote unwanted goals, one common misconception being that all students struggling with alcohol use need to end their alcohol use. Other students are fearful that entering counseling somehow means a loss of control over their life. 

      Students who attend counseling experience the following:

  1. a safe place to talk about experiences and feelings. 
  2. advantages in talking to a neutral person who is not a part of their everyday life.
  3. that they can effectively make changes in their life that result in feeling better about themselves and life in general.

CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARANTEED

What happens when someone comes to ADN Counseling?

STEP 1: MAKING AN APPOINTMENT 

The first step is to make an appointment by calling (856-225-6005) or coming to the health center. An appointment will usually be scheduled within a couple of days. If you have a need for urgent care, please tell the receptionist, who will will do whatever is possible to set up an appointment the same day. 

STEP 2: THE FIRST MEETING 

The first meeting will focus on why your have come to counseling. The counselor will listen to your concerns and be supportive. The first meeting is also a 90 minute appointment where a thorough holistic assessment will take place.

STEP 3: THE SECOND MEETING

The second meeting will provide feedback based upon the information gained during the initial assessment meeting. 

STEP 4: ONGOING COUNSELING 

If you decide to begin counseling, a plan will be developed which then becomes the initial focus of counseling. Typically, the counselor will recommend how often counseling is needed depending on the initial assessment. Sessions can vary in length, but usually last forty five minutes. 

Closing words

If you are still uncertain about whether ADN counseling is the right step, we encourage making an appointment to discuss any reservations you may have. This can be done anonymously, with no personal record kept in your name. The service is free and there is no obligation to continue. You can also make an appointment to discuss concerns about someone you know and how best to refer him or her for counseling.