What is Addiction?

What is addictionAddiction is the uncontrolled use of a substance or engagement in an activity which becomes problem causing for the victim.  It is often difficult to classify how much is to much of anything for anyone.  We are all different, but when someone’s quality of life and relationships start to suffer as a result of the repeated use of the substance or behaviour, it may be fair to consider it an addiction.  Many people addicted to substances or behaviours still appear to live normally, by getting up and going to work, or maintaining family commitments.  They’re not immune from the long term effects of addiction.   They’re called ‘functioning addicts’.  Functioning addicts may not realise that they are suffering as they have been doing it for so long.  Therefor trying to explain to them the dangers (physical, psychological, social, or financial) may be challenging.

Types of Addiction

There are two general types of addiction; these being substance misuse and behavioural compulsion.  Substance misuse relates to drugs and alcohol.  There are numerous types of drugs and varieties of alcohol.  It is a common belief that some drugs such as cannabis are non addictive, which is not true.  Some substances may not have physically addictive properties.  They can still become psychologically addictive and cause the same damage to a person’s life or relationships.  Some drugs like heroin or crystal methamphetamine can have more of physical impact that other drugs, but that does not mean there is any safe drug.  Even caffeine can cause health problem if consumed in too high a quantity.   See our Resources page for more information    
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