Addiction counselling

Addiction counselling. What you need to know.

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.

Guide. Who is this counselling for?

Addiction counselling may be applicable to your situation in the following cases:

  • you regularly consume a particular substance as part of your everyday life
  • you regularly engage in addictive behaviour, such as gambling
  • your consumption of addictive substances has continuously increased over the past few months
  • you feel that you must consume an addictive substance or engage in addictive behaviour and are unable to actively decide not to
  • your family, relatives, friends or life partner have expressed their concern at your consumption of addictive substances or your addictive behaviour
  • you conceal or deny your consumption or behaviour because you find the subject embarrassing
  • you feel physically unwell, nervous or depressive if you have to spend an extended period of time without consuming an addictive substance or engaging in addictive behaviour
  • you are concerned about the consumption of addictive substances by or the addictive behaviour of a member of your family, a friend or an acquaintance

Find an addiction counselling service now.

Good to know. Frequently asked questions about addiction counselling