Addiction is an overwhelming and sometimes uncontrollable compulsion towards a substance or activity over a long period time.
When hearing the word addiction, most of us think of being addicted some sort of illicit drug, nicotine or alcohol, but people can be addicted to emotions too.
Most of us are on a constant search for happiness, love, excitement or thrill. Hunting for the next best thing, the new shiny car, a gram worthy snap and 10/10 lover.
How many of us realise that we are addicted to altering our states of consciousness day in and day out?
We wake up in the morning and have a coffee to escape the existential dread of having to go to the office, we might light up a cigarette every 2 hours because the break brings a sense of freedom.
Some of us like to scroll social media for hours on end because we like to feel included and then there are those of us who buy clothes we can’t afford so we feel like we can.
When we seek comfort, happiness, love and fun outside of ourselves, we can get caught up in stimulating, but unnecessary and distracting activities that take time away from things that are deep and meaningful.
Symptoms Of Addiction
• Inability to stop using
• Denial of problem
• Continued use despite health issues
• Can’t function without substance or activity
• Obsession – spending more time and resources on addiction
• Engaging in risky behaviour – trading sex or stealing
• Large doses
• Sacrifice – choosing drugs over something one previously enjoyed
• Dropping hobbies and activities
• Maintaining a good supply of substance
• Secrecy and solitude
• Excess consumption or abuse of substance
• Financial difficulties
• Withdrawal symptoms – depending on the substance, symptoms could include, cramping, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, trembling and seizures
• Appetite changes
• Physical damage or disease
• Change in appearance – looking dishevelled, tired, haggard
• Increasing tolerance – having to take more to get high
If you’re struggling with addiction of illegal substances like cocaine or alcohol, cigarettes and anything that is immediately harmful to your physical and mental health it is important to ask for help.
It’s always seen as a strength to ask for help because it means you’re conscious of the fact you have a problem. Awareness of a problem is the first step towards healing.
Reach out to someone you can trust and feel comfortable talking too. Research local professionals who specialise in addiction and strategies for new behaviour. Browse services until you find one that feels right for you, there are lots out there, online and in person! You can find resources on this website that can help.