Addiction – The Facts

Get the lowdown on addiction. Find out how to spot the signs and how to get help…

What Is Addiction?

An addiction is something you want to do over and over again. When you are addicted to something, you feel unable to stop doing it. You might associate an addiction with smoking, drinking or drugs, but people can actually be addicted to a wide variety of things.

Common Addictions

There are many other things people can become addicted to but these are probably the most common:

  • Smoking
  • Vaping
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Gaming
  • Drugs
  • Social media – read more here
  • Self-harm
  • Eating/food

Why Do We Become Addicted?

We usually become addicted to something because it makes us feel momentarily good. It could release stress or deliver a quick boost of pleasure. Usually, however, these feelings are short-lived and are replaced with feelings of guilt, and frustration, which only makes us feel more stressed and anxious.

When we repeat the activity, over and over again, it gives us a short-term boost. It’s a vicious cycle and that’s what makes it so difficult to break, but it can be done. There is lots of help out there, designed to help people break all different kind of addiction.

Facing Addiction

You may be feeling embarrassed or ashamed, or worried that you might get into trouble but try not to let that stop you from being open and honest about your addiction. It will be much easier to get the right kind of help if you’re truthful from the beginning.

Dealing With Addiction

There are many ways to get help with an addiction. You can remove temptation, wherever possible, to try to avoid repeating damaging behaviours.

  1. Bin The Temptations!

Let’s use gaming as an example. So, for a gaming addiction we want to remove the temptation to play all the time. Set limits on how often you play and for how long. You could ask your parent to remove your console from your bedroom entirely and get rid of anything to do with gaming, to allow yourself a break.

  1. Keep Busy

Try to keep yourself busy and focused on something else, especially around the times when you would usually play games. You could go out for a walk, talk to a friend or family member, or try a new hobby to distract yourself from all thoughts of gaming.

  1. S Is For Support

Surround yourself with positive, supportive loved ones to help you through the rough times and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need more help. Understand that beating addiction takes time, and that you will need good people around you to help you through this difficult period in your life.

  1. You’ve Got This!

You might relapse from time to time and feel as if you’ve let everyone down or are back to square one, this may leave you feeling ashamed or frustrated. This is very common so don’t beat yourself up. Look at what happened  and make some changes to help if you feel tempted again in the future. It’s important to pick yourself back up and try again.

Get More Help:

You may need additional support from a specialised medical team, therapist or peer support group if you have a serious addiction. Talk to your doctor about how to get the right kind of help.

NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/drug-addiction-getting-help/

Childline: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/feelings-emotions/addiction/

If you would like to know more about the effects of alcohol and what a hangover is click here


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