Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
Addiction is more common than many realize. There were approximately 20.6 million people in the United States over the age of 12 with an addiction in 2011. Although most people don’t get the treatment they need, over 3 million people in 2011 received treatment for their addiction.
Therapists provide a necessary support system for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol issues. By forming a relationship built on trust with their patients, therapy can provide support, resources, and judgement-free guidance that patients can utilize on their road to recovery.