The Relational Roots of Addiction is a Psychology Today blog entry that  very much reflects how I like to think about addiction.  It takes a look at how relationships help regulate emotions and ideally teach a healthy way to cope with difficult feelings at an early age.  When this does not work, an addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, or sex for instance may be an attempt to manage feelings that otherwise feel unmanageable.   This article also emphasizes how important it is for a therapist to meet the client where he or she is.  There is no one size fits all approach to helping overcome addiction.