What is addiction?
Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something, to the point where it could be harmful to you. Addiction is most commonly associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol and nicotine, but it's possible to be addicted to anything, such as:
Work; Computer; Solvents; shopping.
Whatever a person is addicted to, they can't control how they use it, and they may become dependent on it to get through daily life.
How common is addiction ?
it’s estimated that 2 million people in the UK have
Why people become addicted to substances?
There are many reasons why addictions begin. In the case of drugs, alcohol and nicotine, these substances affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable and create a powerful urge to use the substances again. Gambling may result in a similar mental ‘high’ after a win, followed by a strong urge to try again and recreate that feeling. This can develop into a habit that becomes very hard to stop.
Being addicted to something means that not having it causes withdrawal symptoms or a ‘come down’. Because this can be
unpleasant, it's easier to carry on having or doing what you crave, and so the cycle continues.
Often, an addiction gets out of control because you need more and more to satisfy a craving and achieve the ‘high’.
Some studies suggest that addiction is genetic, but
environmental factors, such as being brought up by someone with an addiction, are also thought to increase the risk. An addiction can be a way of blocking out difficult issues. Unemployment and poverty can trigger addiction, along with stress, and emotional or professional pressure.
Do I need professional help?
Yes, it is essential that you seek help immediately. The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage a person’s work and relationships. In the case of substance abuse (for example drugs and alcohol), an addiction can have serious psychological and physical effects.
Whatever the addiction, there are many ways you can seek help, including seeing your GP for advice, or contacting one of the charitable organisations set up to help people with addictions.
Or if you would like to receive private treatment, we provide the following services on outpatient
London Mental Health Group
Suite 4, 4th floor, Congress House, Lyon Road, Harrow HA1 2EN
Monday to Friday 9am to 5 pm
Evenings and weekends with no extra cost