Addiction counseling is therapy provided to people   who are dependent on the use of one or more substances or activities.



Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain which involves compulsive and uncontrolled   pursuit of reward or relief with substance use or other compulsive behaviors.

Addiction recovery is the state of abstinence   from addictive behaviors, usually achieved through self-reflection and spiritual,exploration.

Relapse is the recurrence of symptoms after a period of improvement or recovery.

Sober means not consuming alcohol and drugs or engaging in other addictive activities.




The American Medical Association defines addiction  as a chronic disease with physical and emotional factors  that impair control over the use of substances. Some examples of substances and activities people can become addicted to are alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, and the  Internet. For addiction counselors working with people who are substance dependent or abusive is difficult because of a high rate of relapse, defensiveness, and a lack of research as how to best treat the conditions. The   addiction counselor offers a different view and believes   the problem of addiction is how you respond or fail to respond to substances and treatment. Addiction counseling rests on the idea that alcohol and drug problems  become independent of their beginnings.  In counseling training, students have been taught to remove their own experience from the client’s recovery processes. In addiction counseling there is more of a demand for personal involvement than seen in other counseling professions. Providing hope is a crucial dimension for addiction counselors as they offer themselves as “living proof” of hope. It is important to model the potential for long-term recovery   through their own story and by guiding the client to a community of people in recovery.


Addiction counselors are exposed to many frustrations   and losses. First, there is a high mortality rate of substance   abusers. Many counselors use these experiences   to deepen their understanding of the nature of addiction   and to recommit themselves to finding new ways to reach their clients. Addiction counselors are aware that their   clients are often involved in a life or death struggle for recovery. The stakes involved in this work are high and   awareness brings its own burdens and rewards.


There are several rituals that are considered best practice for addiction counselors. These activities

include rituals such as prayer, meditation, and self-reflection.  Also included are mirroring rituals like

reaching out to others for support and inspiration. Acts of self-care for the body and mind are also important  for addiction counselors. Lastly, unpaid acts of service   such as serving as a sponsor or giving back to the recovery community are valued.





As early as 1774, the effects of alcohol abuse were   known to be devastating. Substance-related problems

in the United States began with the attack on Native  Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries. Treatments   for these problems at the time included use of native medicines, religion, and limiting its use and availability.


Addiction counseling started as a grassroots recovery  community. Therapy with this population began in

1913 at a church in Boston with religious leaders called   the Oxford Group. However, most laypeople believe  that alcohol and drug treatment did not begin until the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935. Bill  Wilson and Bob Smith used the Oxford Group as a  model when they founded AA with a shift away from  religion. AA viewed alcoholics as having an allergy to  alcohol, which formed the basis of the disease or medical   model. This was a change in the view of alcoholism, which had  previously been viewed as a moral weakness


Soon after AA was founded, members began to be  employed at substance abuse treatment centers.

In the early days alcoholics did not go to treatment   centers through AA; they simply went through a

detoxification process. This usually occurred in their   local hospital, and from there most were referred to AA   meetings. Supporters of AA and other Twelve-Step   groups, believe it is the most effective way of treating  addiction and should be the primary treatment  program.  

Accordingly, it became the norm that clients needing help with alcoholism or substance abuse were referred to. This often was recommended instead of professional help or as an add-on to addiction counseling treatment.

In the 1940s it became clear that a definition and   formalization of the addiction counselor should occur.

The next major event in the treatment and counseling of alcoholics and other drug abusers was the opening  of the Hazelden Treatment Center in Minnesota in1949.  

Hazelden developed what later became known as the Minnesota Model. This model includes a combination of therapy, spirituality, group treatment, and the Twelve Steps. At Hazelden they integrated recovering,non  professionally trained counselors as part of the alcoholism  treatment team. In 1954 addiction counselors  were provided a professional role in Minnesota and  other states later followed. The Substance Abuse and  Mental Health Services Administration reports that  today most residential treatment centers are a variation  of the Minnesota Model. 

Current Status 

Currently, AA has over 115,000 independent groups   throughout the world, with over 2,100,000 members (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2010). In the field of substance   abuse there are three main approaches to addiction  counseling. The traditional approach is the   disease model which treats the addiction in the same medical model as other conditions. The research approach   seeks the scientifically supported methods to treatment. And last, the managed care approach wants to identify the greatest benefit for the least cost.

These three movements conflict with one another, resulting in unrest among professional addiction counselors.

The medical model believes in dependency   where the research approach finds there is not enough

evidence to support the claim. The managed care approach   is unlikely to pay for anything that is highly

disputed among professionals. Therefore, the conflicts   in the field have led to difficulty in uniting and identifying common goals in addiction counseling.

 If you need Addiction counseling,can contact us .


adminJune 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

May i have an opportunity to work with you Dr B.S.Arora??
I am a recovering addict (community) woking in the field od addiction since last 20yrz & based in new delhi.

    adminJune 6, 2018 at 11:28 am


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