Substance abuse and addiction are sometimes symptoms of underlying psychological distress. Chemical dependency can be linked to feelings such as inadequacy, low self-esteem, despair, and lack of fulfillment in life. Psychotherapy can assist clients in identifying what emotional needs are being met through the addiction so they can begin to find healthier ways of meeting those needs.
It is important to note that not all addictions are drug related. Addiction can also manifest itself through behaviors such as gambling, shopping, internet overuse, and sexual compulsions/impulsivity, to name just a few examples. Treatments can be tailored to treat the specific struggles of the individual.
Sometimes, clients will also need to be under psychiatric care if medication is required to decrease cravings and/or restore chemical balance in the brain.