What is Addiction?

Addiction is a complex condition characterised by compulsive substance use or behaviour despite harmful consequences. Substance addiction commonly involves drugs or alcohol, while behavioural addiction can include activities like gambling, gaming, or compulsive eating.

How Can Addiction affect you?

Addiction can profoundly impact every aspect of an individual’s life.

Physically, substance, or compulsive eating addictions can lead to things like health problems, ranging from liver damage to heart disease.

Mentally and emotionally, addiction can cause depression, anxiety, and strained relationships. It can lead to financial instability, legal troubles, and a decline in work or academic performance.

Ultimately, addiction can severely diminish one’s quality of life and even be life-threatening.

Symptoms of Addiction

Loss of Control: Difficulty controlling substance use or behaviour, even when you want to stop.

  • Compulsion: Strong urges or cravings to engage in the addictive behaviour.
  • Negative Consequences: Continued use despite knowing it’s causing harm to oneself or others.
  • Tolerance and Withdrawal: Needing more of the substance or activity to achieve the same effect, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Prioritising the addictive behaviour over important obligations or activities.
  • Isolation: Withdrawing from social interactions or hobbies in favour of the addictive behaviour.
  • Ignoring or taking risks: Taking risks that might harm yourself or others.

Get Help

  • NHS Services: Your first port of call should be your GP. Addiction is an illness and you are entitled to health care just the same any other patient.


  • Charitable Organisations: Numerous charities offer support and advice for addiction, such as:


Alcoholics Anonymous


Gamblers Anonymous Gamblers Anonymous


Private Treatment Centers: There are private clinics and rehab facilities across the UK that offer specialised addiction treatment programs.

UKAT – UK Addiction Treatment Centres