Understanding addiction involves the conceptions and misconceptions about various addictions that affect people in the UK.
What Is Addiction? - Addiction is habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control. People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful.
With addiction, there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.
Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate - in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
Are You An Addict? - How to tell when substance abuse becomes an addiction / dependence. When a person is addicted to something they cannot control how they use it, and become dependent on it to cope with daily life.
Causes Of Addiction - The causes of addiction vary considerably, and are not often fully understood. They are generally caused by a combination of physical, mental, circumstantial and emotional factors. It is not fully clear why and how some people become addicts.
Psychological Effects - Discover the effects an addiction can have
Binge Drinking - How much alcohol is too much, and what are the effects?
Types Of Addiction
People can be addicted to many different substances, from alcohol and illegal drugs to prescription medicines, as well as to some types of behaviour. Below is a list of some of the drugs / substances that people can become addicted to;
Alcohol - where do you cross the line from social drinking to addiction?Amphetamines - some of the most commonly used illegal drugs, these synthetic drugs used as stimulants
Cannabis - there's evidence it can help with some conditions, but also cause psychotic illness
Cocaine - renowned for being one of the most dangerous drugs.
Ecstasy - immediate or short-term effects include an increased heart rate and raised blood pressure.
Gambling - as many as 350,000 people in the UK have a significant gambling problem.
Heroin - renowned for being one of the most dangerous drugs.
LSD - one of the most powerful hallucinogens known.
Mephedrone and naphyrone - stimulants with effects similar to amphetamines, ecstasy or cocaine.
Methadone - A mimic of heroin used to combat addiction.
Nicotine - one of the most powerfully addictive drugs.
Painkillers - Sometimes known as a silent addiction Prozac - over 35 million people worldwide have been prescribed this antidepressant.
Sex addiction - Six per cent or more of the population experience sex addiction.
Tranquilizers - May be used to relieve anxiety or induce sleep Treating addictions.
There is a wide range of advice, treatment and support services for addiction in the UK, which anyone with a substance-related problem should have access to. Ask your GP for details. Most local community drug units also run drop-in centres, which don't require referral from a doctor. You should be able to find information about these on the internet or ask at your doctors' surgery.
Help from your GP - Don't be frightened to discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Physical Treatment - Treatments aim is to minimise harm to the body and mind from the addiction.