One does not need drugs to develop an addiction. A person with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior is technically addicted to thinking and acting in an undesirable way. Compulsive behavior is a basis for every kind of addiction, and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often a key condition to combating addiction. OCD is directly linked to the underproduction of serotonin. Trying to compensate for the lack of this neurotransmitter we intentionally or unintentionally reach for addictive substances.
Breaking out an addiction is like breaking a habit, only more complicated. If we only need enough self-organization to leave old habits behind, we require a complex therapy to recover from addiction. Patients have to take some medical supplements of serotonin and regular counseling sessions to create a comfortable living without drugs or alcohol. Often addiction is complicated by mental health conditions, like depression or anorexia, that requires extra treatment. Besides such basic treatment options, it is highly recommended for addicts to change their way of life. Here we have multiple ways to go.
Recent research in helping human mind resist addictive behaviors states that addicts have to find another powerful stimulus to shift obsessive thoughts. Sports, arts, cultural and social activities are highly recommended to people who need to turn their energy into a useful force. Painting or creating hand-made items proved to be effective in correctional facilities that implemented any interesting programs to their prisoners. The same works for any addict. Once people find a truly fascinating activity, they change the way of thinking and feel a different person.