Addiction is a serious medical condition that can come in many forms. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure or pill that one can take to cure their addiction.
However, addiction counseling is the best tool against fighting this disease. An addiction counselor will have the proper resources and tools to help each individual patient discover the source of their addiction, which is one of the biggest steps toward fighting this disease.
Addiction is defined as a practice or habit that is physically or psychologically habit-forming. This is most often seen in drug users, who tend to suffer from severe physical trauma if they must withdraw from their drug of choice. Although all addictions can diminish the patient's quality of life, this type of addiction tends to be more urgent and the most obvious; both the drugs and the user's actions to attain their drug of choice can seriously put the user's life in danger. Therefore, rehabilitation for treating a drug problem tends to be more intense. Most of the time the user will have to participate in an inpatient rehabilitation program in order to get the proper addiction counseling. This is also true for alcoholics, who will begin their addiction with a strong compulsion to drink, but then become physically dependent on the effects of alcohol in their body. On the other hand, there are other types of addictions that may or may not require inpatient treatment because there is no physical dependency, but uncontrollable compulsive urges. In fact, many of these addictions have only recently been accepted in psychiatric communities. For instance, food and sex addictions were previously thought of as controllable urges that did not require the help of a psychiatric professional. However, it has been discovered that the brain of a compulsive over eater reacts to food in the same manner that a drug addict's brain reacts to their drug of choice. Additionally, a food addiction can lead to obesity and other health problems related to a poor diet.
No matter the compulsion or drug of choice, addiction counseling is very intensive. An addiction counselor will first attempt to pinpoint the source of the user's addiction, which may require a complete psycological evalutation. This is because many times an addiction is merely a symptom of a greater issue such as depression or abuse. Consequently, addiction counselors are medical doctors with a speciality in psychiatric medicine.
While many addicts may be able to control their addictions with weekly support group meetings, most will need counseling. Seeking this type of help is very helpful because an addiction counselor is educated and versed in treating the causes of addiction.