Whatever the addiction may be, the person cannot control how they use it, or become dependant on it to get through daily life. Some people use substances on a regular basis without any problems. Other people experience damaging psychological and physical effects, as a habit turns into an addiction. Being unable to control how you use a substance can also put a lot of strain on relationships with others, and cause problems at work, school or home.
There's no single reason why addictions develop. Addictions to substances such as alcohol, drugs and nicotine change the way we feel both mentally and physically which some people enjoy and feel a strong desire to repeat. Activities such as gambling may causes a 'high' on winning, followed by a desire to repeat the success. This can happen over again and eventually become a habit that can't be broken because it's become a regular part of life.
Being addicted to a substance usually means you have become dependent on it to some degree. Not having the substance you enjoy (withdrawal) becomes less pleasant than having it. The more you use it, the more tolerant the body becomes, until you need to use larger and more frequent amounts of the substance to get the same effect.
Children who grow up in homes where there is alcohol or drug abuse may be more likely to develop addictions. Unemployment, poverty and lack of education can trigger addictions to develop, as can stress and professional or emotional pressure. Indulging in the addiction can be a short-term way of dealing with and forgetting about difficult issues.
There are many different organisations in the UK that provide treatment, support and advice for people with addictions. A lot of people choose to consult their GP first, but help is also available from community addiction centres where you can drop in without an appointment. Treatment and support is provided from a range of different people, including specialist addiction nurses, counsellors and psychiatrists. There are also websites and help lines if you'd rather access information or discuss the problem anonymously, and local support groups where you can meet other people with similar experiences.
The information shown here is Crown copyright and has been reproduced with the permission of NHS Direct. Last updated June 2007.
This booklet gives some handy hints and tips for surviving the festive season as well as useful information and telephone numbers in case you need support.
MyRAP is a self-management tool to support people in taking control over their own well-being and recovery.
Stress Control is a six session class. Each session lasts for 90 minutes. Stress Control was devised by Jim White, a clinical psychologist in Glasgow, to help the large number of people who complained
Well Connected is Lanarkshire's social prescribing programme. Well Connected makes it easy for people to take part in and benefit from activities and services that we know can improve well-being.
The Healthy Reading Programme has been developed to make it easier to access mental health and well-being leaflets, books, CDs, DVDs and web-based support.
Community Clinics are a mental health Occupational Therapy initiative which connects you with local services and activities that may help you to improve your mental health and well-being.
We hope you enjoyed using MyRAP and found it useful. We would appreciate you taking the time to complete this short questionnaire and return it to us.
A guide to being assertive. Assertiveness is the ability to stand up for ourselves and to say how we feel when we feel we need to.
This booklet is for people who are worried about their memory. Sometimes people are afraid that forgetfulness is the start of something else, like dementia. This can worry older people especially.
This document will help you with the practical issues that need to be faced after a suicide, talk about some of the emotions you might be experiencing and suggest some places where you can get help.
Chronic pain affects millions of people in the UK, so you're not alone. It can have a huge impact on your quality of life, and can also affect the lives of your family and those around you.
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Lifelines Flowchart. Flowchart to support young people who are self-harming or engaging in suicide behaviours in Lanarkshire.
The pathway assists staff with the assessment of people at risk of suicide and provide appropriate and timely treatment within appropriate timescales.
Social anxiety is the term used to describe a high level of shyness. Of course everyone feels shy or anxious in certain social environments, but for some people it can be a little more extreme.
Lifelines Guidance Document for North Lanarkshire. Guidelines and procedure to support young people who are self-harming or engaging in suicide behaviours in Lanarkshire.
Document for South Lanarkshire. Guidelines and procedure to support young people who are self-harming or engaging in suicide behaviours in Lanarkshire.
The Scottish Government is working to enable older Scots to live healthy, active and independent lives.
This leaflet is designed to provide practical information for anyone who is caring for someone with dementia on ways to tackle problems which can occur with eating and drinking in everyday life.
Leaflets covering a range of mental health problems are available free of charge from NHS Lanarkshire’s Health Improvement Library as part of the Healthy Reading Programme.
MyRAP is a self-management tool to support people in taking control over their own wellbeing and recovery.
We know that people who are affected by homelessness are at greater risk of experiencing stress and low mood because of the wide impact that this has on our lives.
A booklet for those who are either worried about dementia or who have been diagnosed.
This book contains information and advice for people who care for someone in the middle to late stages of dementia (moderate to severe dementia).
Self Help for Post-Traumatic Stress. Post-Traumatic Stress can occur after a significant incident that is out of the ordinary.