What is Addiction?

Addiction ImageAddiction is a strong, uncontrollable need to drink alcohol, take drugs, or carry out a particular activity such as over eating, gambling, promiscuity, or other debilitating behaviours, without an ability to control it or seemingly the ability to choose not to engage in it.

It often becomes the most important distraction in their life and leads to problems at home, work and in social situations.

There’s no single reason why addictions develop. Regularly drinking alcohol, abusing narcotics, using medications both legally prescribed or not, spending time gambling or on the internet (including porn sites), may be pleasurable or relaxing, but some people experience these feelings particularly intensely and have a strong desire to repeat them more often. All too often people become entrenched in these pastimes and they cross an invisible line that no longer permits them to choose when to engage in it and removes their ability to control the amounts they use.

c2358886e329a2346e7af7fc3059cc7eMany people regularly use addictive substances or engage in potentially addictive activities, such as gambling or sex or over eating, without having major problems.

However, in some people it can cause damaging physical and psychological effects, as their behaviour becomes more frequent and the levels increase, turning into an addiction.
This occurs as a result of chemical changes in the brain which tell itself that the pleasure they’re due to receive from engaging in their preferred addiction is more important than the perceived pain.

As someone carries on using the substance or engaging in such behaviours, their brain and body become tolerant and they need more drugs or to spend more time on the behaviour to get the same effect. What started out as something they could control and manage develops into an uncontrollable need or addiction.

057ab94f733e7a26f83f4f86344a8ff4The consequences of addiction always get worse over time. Addiction is a progressive illness. It’s never easy to quit (otherwise it wouldn’t be an addiction), but if you’ve already suffered negative consequences and don’t want them to get worse, there’s never a better time to quit than now.

During the Addiction Roadshow live event we’ll be explaining in much more detail addiction, how to spot it, how to diagnose it, how to understand it and most importantly, what to do about it.


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