Lifestyle

Addiction

November 12th, 2013 by

Addiction means ceasing to have control over doing, taking or using something which is bad for you. An addiction usually becomes a dependency. Drugs and alcohol are the two common addictions. But activities such as sex, gambling and eating can also become highly addictive. There is no one reason why addictions develop. Usually a person becomes dependent on something because it makes them feel better – whether more confident, less stressed or masking their insecurities or emotions. Many people are able to enjoy potentially addictive behaviors such as drinking alcohol or gambling, without becoming dependent on them. However habit can turn into addiction quickly in other individuals.

The more often a person takes an addictive substance, the more tolerant they become to the desired effects. This encourages larger quantities to be taken at more frequent intervals, in order to reach the ‘high’ of a drug or the buzz from alcohol, which can further push someone into addiction territory. When the substance or behavior is suddenly taken away from the addict (known as ‘cold turkey’), withdrawal symptoms commonly occur. These symptoms vary, and may occur on both a psychological or physical level. Generally speaking, deep distress, discomfort and intense cravings are involved. Addiction is harmful for both the addict and those around them. The health and happiness of the individual is often at mercy of the addiction, and personal relationships commonly breakdown or suffer. An addict’s professional life will often become compromised.

Support, advice and treatment are widely available for both the addict and those affected by addiction. A GP can refer addicts to psychiatrists, support groups and also suggest treatments.

There are plenty of website that offer advice and support. Here are a few good ones:

http://www.addaction.org.uk/

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/

http://ukna.org/

http://www.gamcare.org.uk/

http://www.oagb.org.uk/

Some individuals find local support groups helpful in managing their addictions. These are designed for addicts to meet up and discuss their experiences and situations. It can be very helpful for creating a network of support, and to talk with people who truly understand and relate.

The links below are provided for you to

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locate support groups in your area:

http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Support-services-for-alcohol-addiction/LocationSearch/295

http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Information-and-support-for-drug-misuse/LocationSearch/339

http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search

Silhouette of sad man drinking alcohol

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