Around two million people in the UK suffer from addiction. An addiction is an illness of the brain that causes the affected person to do something to the point where it could cause them harm. Individuals suffering from addiction have no control over their urge to take specific substances or engage in certain activities. Most think of drugs, alcohol, and gambling upon hearing the word addiction, but there are many things to which people can become addicted, including dieting, sex, shopping, and the internet.
Regardless of what a person is addicted to, one thing is common among all addicts – they will have no control over their addiction and it may become something that they depend on to get through each day.
Why Do Some People Develop Addictions?
It is important to note that not everyone that drinks alcohol or takes drugs will become addicted to them. Nor will every person that gambles develop a gambling addiction. Many factors can influence whether or not a person will develop an addiction.
In terms of substance addiction, drugs and alcohol change the way a person feels both mentally and physically. For many, alcohol and drugs induce pleasurable feelings, which affect the brain’s reward receptors. Certain behaviours can also be powerfully rewarding. Those that gamble may feel joy and pleasure when they win and may then experience a strong compulsion to recreate that feeling.
An addiction develops when the person experiences a ‘come down’ or withdrawal symptoms when not taking a particular substance or engaging in a specific behaviour. Rather than experiencing these withdrawal symptoms, it is easier just to carry on taking the substance or carrying on with the activity that gives them pleasure. However, what makes some people more susceptible to addiction than others?
Research has shown that addictive behaviour can be inherited, so those with a parent or sibling with a history of addiction are more likely to develop an addiction themselves. Growing up in a home where addiction was prevalent makes it more likely for affected individuals to become addicted, as they will associate specific substances or activities with a way to cope with life.
The Effects of Addiction
Addiction can cause severe damage to a person’s health and their relationships. Those who have developed an addiction may find that it takes over their life to such an extent that their work and home life takes second place.
People with addiction can think of nothing else but the substance or activity they crave and, unfortunately, everything else pales in comparison.
Many addicts will find themselves out of work because their addiction interferes with their ability to do the job they are paid to do. Addiction can also lead to financial hardship and relationship breakdown and, in some cases, those suffering from addiction find themselves homeless with nowhere to go.
Without getting the right help, these individuals may find that their life continues to spiral downwards, with no hope of recovery.
Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities for those suffering from addiction to get help. Addiction Helper is a free referral service working with treatment providers across the UK. We have a team of expert advisors who have been fully trained in all types of addiction. They are ready to take your call and to direct you to a suitable provider based on your circumstances and requirements.
If you have an addiction and would like to get help, contact Addiction Helper today. We can provide you with information on the treatments available and will support you through the process of rehabilitation.