What is addiction?


What counts as an addiction? 

Are you wondering if you have an addiction?  

Or you might be wondering if someone else does?



Addictions are a repetitive intake of a substance/s, or a repeated behaviour/s. They usually have a negative impact on relationships and on the person who is addicted.

Addictions can include alcohol, nicotine, inhalers, painkillers, alcohol, and opioids.

Behaviour wise, addictions can include stealing, gambling, shopping, work, internet, phones, sex and computer use.



Why does someone become addicted?

If somebody is addicted to something, or doing something, it is sometimes because there is an underlying mental health issue. Sometimes it can also be situational e.g losing a job/not finding one, divorce, bereavement.


How does someone become addicted?

Relief is provided by the dopamine the addicted person gets when pursuing their addiction, albeit temporarily. It provides an escape from the real world and whatever pressures they feel under.

 

What are the symptoms of addiction?

·         Cravings

·         Withdrawal

·         Anxiety/depression

·         A change in the level of social activity

·         Increased tolerance to a substance

·         A change in personality/moods

 

How can they get help?

Counselling can help people with addictions by openly talking about the behaviour and its consequences on the individual’s life, exploring the underlying issues and creating realistic steps for change.