Serious Addiction to Gear

I would like to know if gear addiction is like shopping addiction, or any other form of clinically defined addiction. A friend of mine seems to have this problem, not being able to control his urges to just buy the first thing that he feels he needs. It is starting to affect his personal relationships. Should I approach this problem like a drug addiction? I want to help him help himself. Has anyone experienced this either firsthand or by association?
There may be something to it. Someone I know once called me an "AudiogoN addict".

Hi, My name is Fpeel. I was clean for 22 days. Then I saw this power cord posted for sale...
It always starts with power cords,then pretty soon its cryoed cones,then its sand or tubes.Then the nightmare really begins to pick up watts and ohms and......
Saw your thread, we've been talking about such things. We've concluded, when it's no longer about the music it's a very sad thing. Hope you can talk some sense into your friend.
Us Audiophile bunch by definition is of addictive nature. The better the system gets more music you want to buy. And buy. And buy. You are constantly looking for you next 'fix'.