When it comes to addiction to substances such as alcohol, nicotine, illegal drugs, medication or compulsive behaviour – such as problem gambling – addiction counselling is the first port of call in the search for support. The main task of addiction counselling is to provide valuable assistance. The majority of addiction counselling services in Germany are run by public authorities or religious organisations, but there are also offerings from private organisations, trusts and associations.
Advice and counselling from public authorities and religious organisations is usually free (which is not always the case with private providers) and can be provided in face-to-face meetings. Additionally, many counselling centres can also be contacted by telephone, online chat or email – anonymously if desired. It is important to remember that counsellors are almost always trained experts in the areas of medicine, psychology or social care and are bound by law to doctor-patient confidentiality.
The counselling process is split up into three phases:
1. Introductory phase laying the groundwork for the partnership
In this phase, the person suffering from the addiction or their relatives explain what they hope to achieve through the counselling and what their aims are. The counselling specialist will then outline what opportunities for support are available, from detailing the specific treatments to submitting the appropriate applications.
2. Therapy phase with inpatient or outpatient treatment
If professional treatment is required, the addiction counselling service can help find the right clinic or a suitable inpatient treatment.
3. Follow-up phase for long-term rehabilitation
Inpatient follow-up care may be necessary to ensure that the rehabilitation is successful in the long term. Specialists from the addiction counselling service can also provide support in this area, to help ensure that the person does not fall back into addiction.
Addiction counselling may be applicable to your situation in the following cases: