The connotations of addiction tend to surround alcohol and drugs. However, it is worth noting that addiction can take many forms which may also include gambling, shopping, work and smoking.

Addictions happen due to the need and want to recreate the feeling. For example, the ‘high’ feelings which come from alcohol, drugs and winning are so rewarding that the individual strives to experience this again. The feeling is addictive.

Of course we want to experience nice things again, however it becomes a problem when it becomes addictive. Addiction happens when we find it very hard to stop or if we don’t have the high feelings again, withdrawal symptoms present themselves. Those with addictions often strive to recreate the feelings again but often require more as the feelings are not as strong given the fact they are no longer as unique or rare. This is how drug addictions and gambling addictions develop. For example, spending £1 and winning £2 may become more frequent that the feelings are no longer as euphoric, so they begin to bet £10 to win £25 and so on until thousands are being placed to win a little more. Similarly with drugs, beginning with cannabis may progress to cocaine and stronger drugs to get the same feeling. Likewise with prescription drugs, paracetamol may lead to morphine.


The psychological impact of addictions can be experienced directly by the individual, but also their friends, colleagues and family members. Those with the addictions can become so consumed with trying to recreate the feeling that their work is neglected, they become withdrawn from family and friends. They may become stressed in trying to satisfy their addiction.

Ironically, addictions are often used to block out the reality, which may often be difficult situations. This means that they are not aware that they may be contributing to their own stress levels, by turning a blind eye to the issues.

Often the triggers for addiction are unemployment, stress, poverty or debt, and work.


Addictions are treatable and therefore it is worth talking to your doctor – regardless of what the addiction is, help is available.