3 Questions to Expect From a Sobriety Counselor

Kim Vytell
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Jefferey A. Berman MD, DFASAM
Last Updated
December 20, 2022

Part of the complete guide to understanding addiction

Table of Contents
  1. The Importance of Discussion with a Sobriety Counselor
  2. What Substances Have You Been Using?
  3. Information Regarding Payment and Insurance
  4. Have You Been to Treatment in the Past?
  5. Summary

Entering treatment for addiction is a big step, and there are several topics you will need to discuss with the treatment center and then ultimately a sobriety counselor. This article from Avenues Recovery will prepare you for what kind of questions to expect.

The Importance of Discussion with a Sobriety Counselor

At first glance, these discussions might seem trivial, but they are very important to set the tone for your recovery from the start. The aim of these conversations is to set you up to begin treatment, ensuring that the facility has all the background information and technical details necessary to provide you with the best care possible. Here are three questions that a drug and alcohol abuse counselor will most likely ask you before beginning your treatment course:

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1. What Substances Have You Been Using?

The facility you choose will need to know what drugs or alcohol you’ve been using, and how long you’ve been taking it for. This will determine if you need detox. The duration of your addiction gives them a timeframe for how long the toxins have been entering your body. They will also want to know the last time you used.

These questions are more directed toward finding the best options for detox. Certain drugs have longer detox processes, and others require much more involved detoxes with a medical presence. No matter your addiction, the sobriety counselor will choose the best detox plan for your situation.

If you are abusing more than one substance, be honest and tell them. It won’t change their opinion of you or make them think less of you. They are there to help you with this. An alcohol and drug addiction counselor needs to know all the relevant details in order to form a proper assessment.

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2. Information Regarding Payment and Insurance

Before you begin treatment, the facility will need some information from you, similar to the forms you might fill out at the doctor’s office. 

The drug rehab center will want to know: 

  • Name of the primary insurance policy holder 
  • Policy holder’s date of birth 
  • Policy holder’s policy number 
  • Your name, date of birth, and other personal details.

While this might seem unimportant at the time, it is key to getting the proper treatment you need. You don’t want to go into a facility and begin treatment only to find that insurance won’t cover the costs, or that you have to pay out of pocket and don’t have the funds to do so. It’s a preventative measure, which covers both you and the facility, so that they can provide the care you need, and you can begin treatment.

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3. Have You Been to Treatment in the Past?

If you have been to treatment before, then you know the drill. Being in treatment prior and needing to go again, doesn’t sway professionals one way or the other. They want to know if you have sought help before because they want to know how to tailor your treatment to include your past and your future.

They may also want to know why the previous treatment didn’t work. Were there outside factors? Stress? Or even past trauma [1] that wasn’t thoroughly worked through? It’s important to be honest with the dependency counselor at the treatment center. Don’t feel ashamed of your past and substance abuse when you speak with them. They are there to help.

Summary: Questions to Expect From a Chemical Dependency Counselor

There is no path to sobriety that is one-size-fits-all. This is why tailored treatment plans and sobriety counselors are important. Alcohol and drug abuse counselors will help you move through any past pain or trauma, whatever led you to use your substance of choice. These professionals are certified and equipped to help you, so it’s worth putting your trust in them and seeing what they have to offer. When sobriety counselors ask you questions, be honest and cooperative because they have your best interests at heart.

If you have any questions or want to get started on the path to sobriety, please contact us at Avenues Recovery or call our helpline at 603-932-5221.

To learn more about initial discussions and substance abuse evaluation questions, read our helpful resource on this topic.


[1] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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