Drugs are so common today for many of us they are quite simply a way of life which we accept almost without thinking. There is no limit or estimate as to how many drugs are in our society as they are all around us with anything from 'our favourite drug ' - alcohol to work with computers, gambling heroin and shopping in between.

It is important from the outset that we get away from thinking it is only the illegal drugs which people struggle with. (These are often the ones which cause more social harm, so are more obvious, and to which attract more funding as a result. Equally concerning to us should be the harm to the individual and the people around them. This harm can be caused as the individual places more priority on their 'drug' than anything else, thus harming themselves, those around them and so on). Or indeed that all drugs are illegal. Or that all drugs are substances. Indeed for some people a behaviour such as compulsive shopping can give the shopper the near same effects as a drug such as heroin or alcohol.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a drug as 'any substance used in medicine'. Quite simply the chaotic use of a drug, to the point where it affects our work life, social life, home life, finances is a good indicator that we are developing a problem. If we then try to give up our drug and face withdrawal symptoms and need to return to use to avoid depression or return to a state of normality then, we very likely, are on the path to addiction. Therefore a good indicator of whether we have a problem or not is: Are we able to live without our 'drug'?


The Tree of Addictions - thanks for Darv Smith for permission to use this graphic Dealing with the substance or behaviour we are addicted to is just the start of confronting our addiction. We must deal with the roots of our addiction, the reason why we do what we do, otherwise we could just end up trading one addiction for another as this picture clearly illustrates.

Click here or on the image to download an A4 poster

Tree of Addiction used with kind permission from Darvin W. Smith, M.D

Website design by Wayne Spicer