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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 is possible to be addicted to just about anything, including:

  • Work – some people are obsessed with their work to the extent that they become physically exhausted; if your relationship, family and social life are affected and you never take holidays, you may be addicted to work.
  • Internet – as computer and mobile phone use has increased, so too have computer and internet addictions. People may spend hours each day and night surfing the internet or gaming while neglecting other aspects of their lives.
  • Cannabis/Marijuana – cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a psychoactive plant, considered by many to be the most popular illicit drug in the world. Although some people argue that cannabis is a natural plant with therapeutic benefits, it can still be highly addictive, with cannabis dependence continuing to be a growing problem.
  • Shopping – shopping becomes an addiction when you buy things you don’t need or want to achieve positive feelings. This is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair
  • Alcohol – alcohol dependence, sometimes known as ‘alcoholism’, is the most serious form of drinking problem and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink. Drinking plays an important part in the day to day life of alcohol dependent people, which could lead to building up a physical tolerance or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they stop.

Behavioural and Social signs of addiction can include:-

  • Secretive or dishonest behaviour
  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work or school
  • Withdrawing from responsibility and socialising
  • Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
  • Continuing to use the substance, or engage in certain behaviours, despite the negative consequences that these cause
  • Trying but failing to reduce or stop misusing a substance, or engaging in certain behaviours

Seeking the help and support of an experienced Addictions Counsellor can help you to understand the reason for your addiction, and find ways to overcome it.

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