Most people in the early stages of addiction will ask “Why do I need addiction treatment”? They ask for several reasons – one being they don’t think they’re in the early stages of addiction, and another reason is they most always think that individual counseling will suffice. The idea that alcohol or other drug problems are caused by underlying psychological conditions leads many addicts to try symptomatic solutions, and they never deal with the fundamental problem.
In the minds of most people in early addiction, they still believe they have power over drugs (alcohol is a drug, so it’ll be included where I write “drugs”). A person in the early stage of addiction still has some control, so they naturally think that if they talk with a counselor and resolve their depression, anxiety, anger issues, relationship problems, legal problems, self esteem issues, etc, then they can use their drug of choice without having problems. They think their depression, anxiety, life situation, whatever, is causing the periodic problems with misuse of drugs.
This might be true in some cases where the person is not in the early stages of addiction. But, if the person is susceptible to addiction, this chronic brain disease will not go away just because he/she becomes psychologically and emotionally healthy, if the person doesn’t understand and address the fundamental problem of addiction. A person who is not in any of the stages of addiction and simply misuses drugs periodically to deal with problems can benefit from individual counseling and self-improvement and can learn to drink or use their drug of choice responsibly, or stop using illegal drugs because it’s against the law and they realize it’s not worth the risk.
The person who’s going through the stages of addiction can also benefit from individual counseling and self-improvement, but this will not “cure” their addiction. Psychological and emotional problems are not the cause of addiction — they can complicate and intensify addiction, and addiction can complicate personal problems, but the person suffering from addiction most often needs more than individual counseling. They certainly need to know that if they continue to use drugs, the addiction will progress to middle stage then late stage and that premature death is likely. Addiction requires specialized care — it’s much more serious than temporary drug abuse/misuse. The answer to “Why do I need addiction treatment?” can be found when first the person understands addiction.