What is Addiction?
For many people, having a drink and placing a bet is harmless fun; but some find that their whole existence has been taken over by drinking or gambling or drugs or something else. When a habit controls your life and you feel powerless to stop the chaos then it is very likely that you are suffering from an active addiction.
Addiction affects people from every level of society. Almost all of us know people who have an addiction or dependency problem.
There is so much pressure in life today, from other people’s expectations and our own high standards. The more we push ourselves to meet the demands, the more we may feel the need for some sort of release. Alcohol or another drug or some other compulsive behaviour brings a relief we long for again and again. And each time we need a little more to meet the same psychological and physical need; and in the end we are hooked.
People who are successful and admired at work or in the community or by their family can be very vulnerable to a sense of pressure and the need for escape which can lead to addiction. But their status and sometimes their high profile makes it very hard for them to admit their need for help and to accept support. They may see traditional treatment programmes as inaccessible, too expensive and carrying too much risk of exposure.
Addiction is an illness – a progressive disease with the craving for substances and behaviours growing more and more. Addicts cannot control the longing for the stimulation or the numbing that seems to save them from being overwhelmed by everything else in life. They cling on to the comfort of their escape and will deny its power over them. Often against their normal character, they become deceitful and dishonest to hide their problem from others and to finance their need for a substance or an activity.
And so they put at risk everything which they hold dear: partners, family, friends, health, job and self-respect.
How we can help
A confidential phone call to Addictions North East can be the first step in breaking the cycle of addiction and finding a personal programme for restoring normal life.
Take a look at some of the services we offer.
Likewise people who suffer from mild mental illness will recognise that their problems can have an impact on their friends and families. Addictions North East can offer support to the family of the people they are working with. It is critical that people close to the addict do not hinder the recovery of their loved one. The recognition that carers are powerless sometimes needs to be taken into consideration. They often need a great amount of support and coaching.
Friends and families are encouraged to attend support groups, depending on their beliefs and circumstances.