Substance Use

Have you wondered if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs?

Are you using more of the substance and for a longer period of time than you intend?

Do you want to cut down or stop your use and find it harder than you thought?

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about, getting, using and recovering from the substance?

Do you have cravings and urges to use?

Have you continued to use the substance even when it causes problems in your relationships?

Has someone you care about expressed concern to you about your use?

Have you given up important recreational, social, and/or work activities because of the substance?

Have you noticed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle-like irritability or nervousness).

Have you been ordered by the court or someone else to get an evaluation?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you may have a substance abuse problem. In the most severe cases, it is called an addiction. It can happen to people from all backgrounds, rich or poor, and it can happen at any age.

Addiction is a progressive, chronic and life-threatening disease. Alcoholism and drug addiction don’t discriminate, they affect 15 million men and women in this country, regardless of race, age, religion, or income. Counseling Associates offers treatment for substance misuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. We provide comprehensive, confidential outpatient treatment to individuals and families dealing with addiction, along with other substance misuse and mental health issues.

You may not have an issue with alcohol or drugs yourself. You may have someone you care about who is struggling with substance misuse issues. You are wondering what to do and how to help. You might feel scared, confused and, even, angry. Substance misuse issues impact not only the individual struggling with addiction or misuse, but also the family, friends, the workplace and the community.

Click to see You Tube Video

Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs: National Institute on Drug Abuse


We can help!

At Counseling Associates, you will find the experience and expertise to help you address these issues and create solutions and skills to move forward. We believe in solution-focused treatment that helps clarify issues and address goals in a time-effective manner.

Services We Provide

  • Individual Therapy & Counseling to Address Your Use: You’re not even sure if you really have an issue. Or you’re concerned about your drinking or using. You’re noticing that it is impacting relationships, your work, your ability to enjoy life…. Individual therapy will help you sort out your relationship to alcohol and other substances. It will help you better understand your thoughts, behaviors and choices. In individual therapy and counseling, you will partner with your counselor to identify barriers and create solutions.


  • Individual Therapy to Address Family/Relationship Issues Related to Someone Else’s Use: The impact of substance misuse issues can be overwhelming. You can’t solve this for the person you care about. And you do need to come up with some strategies or solutions to navigate the problem. You may need support in crafting these strategies as well as differentiating between what you can control and what you cannot.


  • Substance Misuse Counseling: You know that using is an issue. Others have told you there is a problem or you have hit your bottom and you know now is the time to create change.


  • Relapse Prevention: You’ve worked hard to address your substance misuse issues and you want to make sure you use available resources to support your gains.


  • Couples and Family Therapy: Substance misuse issues impact the entire relationship system. Whether it is navigating current misuse or rebuilding a new normal after substance misuse treatment and the start of recovery.


  • Substance Abuse Evaluations: You are required by the criminal justice system or some other agency to get a substance use evaluation. Evaluations are conducted by a LADC (licensed alcohol and drug counselor) or MLADC (Master level alcohol and drug counselor) following the requirements set forth by the state of New Hampshire. The evaluation consists of two appointments. The first appointment is a 60 minute session where the counselor will go over intake materials, conduct an interview, and complete an Addiction Severity Index (ASI) questionnaire with you. The second appointment is a follow-up where the clinician will discuss the results of the ASI, gather any further data necessary for a complete evaluation, and discuss what the clinician feels you need for further treatment.


  • DUI Aftercare Counseling: You have completed an evaluation and you are looking for a qualified substance abuse professional to complete your aftercare sessions and build a plan for moving forward.


  • You might have some questions or concerns…

    Can talking to someone actually help?

    Yes! Research and our own experience provide convincing evidence that counseling is effective. Often people report some progress in the first few sessions. We will work closely with you to create a plan that will help you see movement to your goals during and between each session.

    I can’t afford therapy.

    Counseling is a sound investment in yourself, your future, your relationships and your health. We appreciate the investment of time and money that counseling represents. We are committed to providing you with new perspectives and skills that will help you now and in the future.

    It’s not me – it’s them.

    You may not have a concern for yourself about substance use. You might be wondering how to help someone else. Or you might be struggling in a family or relationship that is being damaged by another’s substance use and they deny they have a problem or don’t want to change their behavior. We work with individuals and families to better understand substance misuse issues, understand the limitations on what they can and cannot control and develop their own coping strategies to either help or skillfully navigate the difficult situation.

    I’m afraid it’s going to be too hard.

    Making a change can be hard. We are here to help support you to understand yourself and how your thoughts, feelings and core beliefs influence the choices you make. We are here to support you in reaching your goals.

    How am I going to fit in counseling?

    We understand that life is busy. Luckily, we offer a variety of times including evening and weekend hours.

    Our Substance Use Professionals


    • Michelle Harkins
      LCMHC, LADC
    • As a dually-licensed clinician, Michelle Harkins provides substance misuse evaluations, co-occurring mental health disorder evaluations for the criminal justice system, and DUI aftercare counseling. In addition, Michelle offers individual, couples and family therapy, relapse prevention therapy, and treatment for individuals and families to address both substance use and/or mental health conditions.

    • Jim Esposito
      M.A. LCMHC, NCC

    • Pete Afflerbach
      MA, LCMHC
    • As licensed mental health counselors, Jim Esposito and Pete Afflerbach both provide mental health evaluation and individual therapy to address individual substance use as well as individual, couples and family therapy to address the impact of substance use on partners, families and other systems.

    Helpful Links

    Local AA.NA Meetings:
    http://www.aa.org/
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dgm/uvaa/

    Recent Posts

    Relationship Health

    Relationship Health: The birds are chirping and the bees are buzzing! Finally, the buds are on the trees, and the […]

    Seeking Safety: An Integrated Group Model of Care for PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first, the trauma or the substance use? Many clinical programs […]

    Do I have an addiction?

    The google search bar entry reads: Do I have an Addiction problem? “Do you drink or use alone? Do you […]

    Stages of Change

    Stages of Change: On your marks, get set, go! As a counselor with experience and training in the field of […]