If you have an addiction or dependence, you're not alone. According to the charity

'Action on Addiction', one in three of us are addicted to something.

Addiction is sometimes known as dependence and is defined as not having control over doing,

taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you and/or those around you.

Addiction is most commonly associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol and nicotine, but it's

possible to be addicted to just about anything, including:

  • alcohol - alcohol dependence describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink.Drinking plays an important part in the day to day life of alcohol dependent people, which could lead to building up a physical tolerance or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they stop.There are varying degrees of alcohol dependence and they don’t always involve excessive levels of drinking. If you find that you ‘need’ to share a bottle of wine with your partner most nights of the week, or always go for a few pints after work, just to unwind, you’re likely to be drinking at a level that could affect your long-term health.

  • coffee - caffeine is a commonplace central nervous system stimulant drug which occurs in nature as part of the coffee and tea. It is also an additive in many consumer products, such as energy drinks and Coca-Cola/Pepsi. You may only know you are addicted if you experience headaches, drowsiness and irritability as a result of you not having had a cup of coffee/soft drink for some time.

  • computer games - One of the main reasons that video games can become so addictive is they are designed to be that way. Video game designers, like anyone else trying to make a profit, are always looking for ways to get more people playing their games. A person may feel restless and or irritable if they are unable to play, constantly preoccupied with when they will next play, lying about the amount of time spent playing, isolation from others in order to spend more time playing.

  • drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin & recreational drugs) - taking any of these drugs can have a devastating effect upon our lives and those around us. They can prevent you from functioning in both your job and your family. Added strains can be a lack of money, losing your job, mood swings, lack of luster from life, marriage break downs, constantly becoming breathless, disease, inability to make informed decisions, poor judgement, poor memory and an inability to learn.

  • gambling - Do you bet more than you can afford to lose, need to gamble consistently with larger amounts of money and always try to win back money lost? Then you could have a gambling problem. Gambling can cause health problems, including stress and anxiety,  financial problems for you or your household and deep feelings of guilt about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble. Gambling can also cause relationship breakdowns, house and property repossessions and many other money related problems.

  • internet - as computer and mobile phone use has increased, so too have computer and internet addictions. People may spend hours each day and night surfing the internet or gaming while neglecting other aspects of their lives.

  • sex - if someone feels that they are engaging in any sexual activity that they can no longer control and is likely to result in physical or emotional harm to themselves, a partner or partners, or to family and friends then they may have a sex addiction. So, 'being sexually addicted' is not defined by the activity itself but by the possible negative effect on the individual's quality of life and on those around them.

  • shopping - shopping becomes an addiction when you buy things you don't need or want to achieve a buzz. This is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair. It can have a devastating effect on a persons finances as they run up store cards, credit cards and loans to pay for their addiction. This can effect relationships with their family, friends and/or work colleagues.

  • smoking - smoking can cause lung disease including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking also causes most cases of lung cancer. Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes and cigars which cause cravings. Stopping smoking can have numerous benefits both to us and those around us. These include living longer, having more energy, better sex life, improved fertility, improved smell and taste, younger looking skin, whiter teach and sweeter breath.

  • solvents - volatile substance abuse is when you inhale substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol or lighter fuel to give you a feeling of intoxication. Solvents make the user dizzy, off balance, unable to make decisions, unable to communicate effectively and solvent abuse can also be fatal.

  • work - workaholics are obsessed with their work to the extent that they suffer physical exhaustion. If your relationship, family and social life are suffering and you never take holidays, you may be a work addict.

The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships and can have serious psychological and physical effects. Some studies suggest addiction is genetic, but environmental factors, such as being around other people with addictions, are also thought to increase the risk. An addiction can be a way of blocking out difficult issues. Unemployment and poverty can trigger addiction, along with stress and emotional or professional pressure.

Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help. You could see your GP for advice or contact an organisation that specialises in helping people with addictions. Alternatively you can come North Oak Therapy where I will work with you to overcome and remove it's negative influence on your life as well as the lives of those around you. With our experience we will guide you through a process which is both manageable and effective in helping your individual addiction or dependence. 

We may well advise working with your GP and/or other regulated body in order to work through your addiction effectively.

Just remember North Oak offers trained, experienced and confidential counselling, psychotherapy and/or hypnotherapy. We are here for you in your time of need. Should you need any more information or would like to book an appointment please click the link or send a message using the form below. I am also more than happy to receive your texts, emails or telephone calls... whichever is easier for you.


Richard Mill

North Oak

13 Priesthorpe Road







Tel: 0113 256 1374

Mob: 07515 673 103

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