It’s estimated that approximately one in five people are born with an addictive personality – meaning they are vulnerable to becoming addicted to a substance or behavior. This means that there is an excellent chance that someone you know – a friend or family member – is suffering, perhaps secretly, with an addiction problem.
The most serious cases end with
the death or suicide of the victim.
This article is part of a campaign by Addictions UK to help addicts, all around the world. Read on to find out how you can offer your support. .
The rapid growth of the Internet in recent years has seen the rise of new addiction problems, including Facebook addiction, online pornography addiction, online gambling addiction, and even Internet addiction.
Although the word “addiction” is used to mean many different things, what we’re talking about here is more accurately described as “pathological dependence” – a flaw in the brain chemistry that creates an overwhelming and escalating urge to engage in a certain kind of behavior, even if the person knows that their actions are hurting them and they’re desperate to stop.
The condition of addiction can be easier to understand when compared to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). An OCD sufferer may be aware that, logically, there is no need to repeatedly wash their hands until they’re raw and bleeding, but the compulsion is so strong that they’re powerless to stop.
Similarly, an online gambling addict may be racked with guilt because, once again, they’ve spent the grocery money on online poker, but no matter what they try, they cannot gain control of their behavior.
Worse still, when an addict’s compulsive behavior is of a type that is considered socially unacceptable, it’s common to hide the problem and try to tackle it privately. This usually only results in the problem becoming more deeply entrenched.
Treatment is Available
The first step to successfully tacking addiction is education. The addict may have come to the conclusion that they are a wicked person who is beyond redemption, but learning that their troubling actions are symptoms of an illness that afflicts millions of other people, many of whom have been successfully treated, can rekindle their hope and create a burning desire to obtain treatment.
Talking to a doctor can help; they may be able to recommend a local addiction treatment program. Alternatively, private treatment can be obtained (see below).
The most important thing is for the addict to recognize that they have a dependency problem and that they cannot enter recovery without professional help.
How You Can Help
At the beginning of this article, we said that there is a strong chance that a friend of family member is suffering, maybe in silence, but that there is a way you can help.
There’s little point in trying to guess who may or not be affected. Addiction afflicts all different kinds of people, and often the person you least expect.
What you can do is help to put this article in front of as many different people as possible. The more people that see this message, the more likely it is that it will reach someone who really needs it.
To show your support for this campaign, please do one or more of the following:
- Share this article on Twitter and Facebook.
- Go to www.facebook.com/addictionsuk and “Like” this page.
- Place a link to www.addictionsuk.com or www.facebook.com/addictionsuk on your website.
- Post a comment below this blog post.
- Reproduce this article on your blog or website.
Don’t delay. Spend 2-3 minutes now to do one or more of the above – you could save the life of someone you love.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about this article, Addictions UK, or anything related to addiction, you can find our contact details at www.addictionsuk.com/contact.php.