What Is Addiction

The speed of technology today leaves many of us on the fringes looking for a way to escape. We may have a void in our life and be looking for something to fill it. This can be the very early roots of addiction. As new technologies are created so it leaves some of us as the causalities. The addicted. Acknowledging that we may be in this group, can be the first step on the road to recovery.

There is a list below of some of the components of addiction. Your first step may be to look honestly at yourself. Do any of them apply to you? Only you will really know. People around you may be suspicious. If you are looking at this site on behalf of someone else ask them the questions. Do not make assumptions.

Briefly addiction is termed: 'the progressive abuse of something that is repetitious and difficult or impossible to control, engaging in a compulsive behavior' [Some of the things listed below however may in some cases be more correctly termed compulsions and/or obsessions. There is still some debate about the differences but basically an addiction is something which you enjoy doing, or started off enjoying, and involves some degree of physical dependence. An obsession is termed 'an idea or a thought dominating a person's mind'. A compulsion on the other Hand is termed 'an irresistible urge' or 'a repetitive behaviours' (e.g. cleaning or checking something continually) it is a behaviour often performed in response to an obsession. The other term used here is obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)]

Some Common Addictions

Substances

alcohol, heroin, tobacco, solvents, cocaine, cannabis, caffeine, methadone, benzodiazepines, hallucinogens, amphetamines, ecstasy, painkillers, barbiturates, steroids

Behaviours

exercise, sex, eating, computers, work, gambling, oniomania (shopping), people

There is still some debate, but we can see from the descriptions given above that some of the behavioural addictions could more accurately be termed OCD. For example, oniomania and eating disorders.
Anyhow, whatever term the doctors and scientists like to give, if that habit or behaviour is controlling you, if you think you might be, or know you are, addicted then read on....

Some of the characteristics of an addictive habit or behaviour are something:

not under your control - it controls you, when involved in the behaviour you feel like you are living on automatic pilot;

a compulsion, a regular part of your life, where the edges have become blurred, difficult to imagine life without, cannot exist without it;

you find yourself doing again and again, for a bigger or better 'hit' or 'buzz';

you find yourself doing more and more to escape feelings like boredom, grief, frustration, sadness, rejection or failure; which you spend, more and more time/finances on;

which becomes self-obsessive, spending a lot of mental and emotional energy denying and struggling against yourself and others;

which may be sapping your energy. Reducing your effectiveness and self esteem, and disrupts family, social, love and work life, in addition to damaging your physical and mental health.

which you enjoy, or at least you may have in the past enjoyed; partaking in, otherwise you would not do it

which is progressive, and can be developed over along period of time;

Finally though the addiction may bring short-term pleasure, it may also bring long term harm. The person who works long hours from morning till evening may see their relationships or social life slowly ebbing away.

The story does not end there however this is just the beginning. The first and most difficult step is acknowledging that you have a problem, maybe acknowledging that you are 'powerless' as the AA Twelve-step theory says. Or maybe you want to control the addiction instead of it controlling you. Whatever you feel the acknowledging that you have a problem is the most important step. From here some people will struggle on their own; some will get help from a counsellor, some will require extensive treatment in a residential setting. Personally I and many others can recount of a relationship 'like nothing else on this earth'. A relationship which can bring freedom and acceptance. A relationship with Jesus Christ, who called Himself the 'Great I Am' - Exodus Chap. 3 verse 14 & John Chap. 8 verse 58. If you want to find out more about this, speak to someone you know who has experienced this relationship for themselves. Please do alternatively contact us if you wish. In addition we would be very happy to pray with/for you. So, if you have got this far maybe you have acknowledged that you do have a problem and you do need/want help. We would encourage you to move forward.

What kind of help is available?

Self help groups such as 'your addiction' Anonymous or overcomers a Christian twelve step programme. You should be able to find details of these contacts in the links section on this site or in your local telephone directory.

Professional help from a local advisory service, or your doctor. Either of these may refer you for counselling or in the case of a substance based addiction, for detox. (the medical part of the rehab. i.e. removing/substituting the drug in your system) On completion of the detox. depending on your addiction, there are residential rehab. centres where you may be able to go. If you are referred here by the professional agencies then you will usually be funded. This will probably involve a wait however as there will doubtless be any number of other individuals waiting ahead of you. You may of course refer yourself and either pay for the treatment yourself or find that the rehab has a limited number of free places.

You will find further details of everything mentioned above, including some treatment centres, on the page entitled links. If you do not find what you are looking for please do contact us and we will do what we can to help.

If you wish to continue from here, please click on the: Defining Drugs page. If you want to know more about drugs generally and why we take drugs, or if you have read enough, go to the Types of Addiction page and select the particular addiction you are interested in. Go for it...!


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