The treatment of addiction requires a multi-pronged approach. Psychotherapy can help clients understand how their maladaptive behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse, were originally (and generally subconsciously) developed to help them survive. For that reason, I use the term “survival mechanisms” rather than “character defects.”
Most people struggling with addiction need tools to help them regulate and tolerate emotions. Alleviating shame, addressing codependence, and promoting self-compassion are crucial to recovery, as is gentle and respectful processing of trauma.
Many addicts are also Adult Children of Alcoholics/Addicts (ACOA) and so we also address issues of caretaking, compulsion to "fix" others, perfectionism and other ACOA hallmarks.