What is it?

An addiction can be described as a compulsion to do or use something excessively, despite potentially harmful consequences. This compulsion can be conscious or unconscious and impacts on a person's day to day life.

As many as one in three people have an addiction, which can include:

·      Alcohol

·      Drugs

·      Work

·      Smoking

·      Gambling

·      Shopping

·      Pornography

·      Solvent abuse

·      Food

·      Plastic surgery

·      Sex


What Causes It?

A person can become an addict for many reasons including environmental factors, mental health issues, childhood trauma, genetics and stress. 

Addictions can be a way of coping with other aspects of your life and can fall into either physical addictions or psychological dependency.  Physical addictions are defined by a person’s search for pleasure or relief, whereas psychological dependency is a coping strategy to fulfil an emotional need.


Getting help

Many people with addictions may not think that they have a problem, or may ignore it altogether. The addiction can be helping them cope with other issues and they may have a fear that without it everything will fall apart. Denying that you have an addiction could lead to the addiction getting out of control. 

Severe addictions can impact on all areas of your life and become a life-changing problem for some. Being addicted to something can feel like you have lost control and that you are caught in a cycle of behaviour. This cycle becomes the norm and can potentially permanently change your brain structure and function.   

Treatment Options

There are many treatments available to treat a wide range of addictions. Treatments may include talking therapies, drug replacement therapy, cold turkey and hypnosis. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help identify behaviours and triggers helping to break the cycle of addiction. It can look at thoughts and feelings and how you react to negative thoughts. CBT can teach you the skills to change by addressing underlying issues which contribute to your addiction. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provide specific advice and treatment guides for drug and alcohol abuse. If you feel you may have an addiction and you would like some support book in with one of our GP’s or therapists today. 

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