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An addiction has been described as follows: 'Loss of control; continuation of the behaviour despite significant adverse consequences and preoccupation or obsession with obtaining the drug or pursuing the behaviour .'
We normally think of an addiction as applying to a substance, like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. But even behaviours such as gambling or sex (including cybersex, which has been described as the ‘crack-cocaine of the 20th century’ ) could be called an addiction if it meets the criteria in the description above.
One thing is for sure, addictions are always destructive: physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. They can lead to early death, in the case of substance abuse, and almost always destroy relationships with family, friends, employers, etc.
One of the main features of an addiction is ‘denial’. Even the most intelligent person will refuse to admit their lack of control over an addiction and refuse to see the damage it causes, despite being overwhelmed with evidence. An addiction can be so powerful that you become secretive and lie in order to cover up the activity. Recognising and admitting to the problem is the first step to recovery. And you can recover.
Some people are more prone to addictive behaviour than others. What can be an occasional harmless social over-indulgence for one person can be a slippery slope to addiction for another.
Be smart and get help NOW.
1 Dr. Al Cooper, Staff Psychologist, Stanford University
2 Dr. Jennifer Schneider, Journal of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity; pub Taylor & Francis
(Local) Shadows Shadows is a drug and alcohol service for under 18's who live in Dorset. Young people can explore and work through their substance and related issues. 07776 181480 Christian Summers
(firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
(Local) EDP Drug and Alcohol Services EDP works with people aged 18+ across Dorset who have, or are affected by, drug and alcohol problems. They provide assessments, 1:1 work, group work and outreach programmes.
Christchurch service: 01202 482908
(Local) Smoking For help and support on giving up smoking, contact the LiveWell Dorset service: 0800 8401628 / 01305 233105 Office Hours: 9am - 6.30pm Monday to Friday. Email the team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drugs and Alcohol - information for young people
Royal College of Psychiarists
FRANK - Answering your questions about drugs.
0300 123 6600 (24/7) SMS 82111
Alateen (ages 12-17) Help if one of your parents or carers drinks too much.
0207 403 0888 10am-10pm