addiction pills in hand

Addiction is a common problem, but help is available.

Most addictions are defined as not having control over doing, taking, or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. Although addiction is commonly associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol, and smoking, it is possible to be addicted to just about anything.

Some people are obsessed with their work to the extent that they are physically exhausted, this often means relationships, family and social life are affected. As computer and mobile phone use has increased, so too has computer and internet addictions. People may spend hours day and night surfing the internet or gaming, while neglecting other areas of their life.

Solvent abuse is a way of feeling intoxicated and some people inhale substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol, or lighter fluid to get that “High”.

There are many reasons why addictions start, in the case of drugs, alcohol and nicotine these substances affect the way you feel physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable which then creates a powerful urge to want to use them again.

The effects of gambling can result in a similar mental high after a win. This then creates the urge to try again to recreate that feeling. Continuing this cycle can develop into a habit that becomes very hard to stop. This often leads to other issues due to the financial implications and debt. Evidence shows that at gambling addiction can be successfully treated in the same way as other addictions.

The thought of going through withdrawal symptoms which can be unpleasant it is often easier to carry on having or doing what you crave and so the cycle continues. Often addictions get out of control because you need more and more to satisfy the craving and achieve that “High”.

An addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. Often people think that their problem isn’t that bad, or that they are managing it.

Behaviours such as drug, alcohol and substance misuse can be a way of blocking out difficult issues, stress, emotional or professional pressure these can all trigger an addiction.

Support is available

Have a look through the information and support links provided here:

NHS Addiction Support

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

0800 9177 650 (email helpline)
Help and support for anyone with alcohol problems.

Alcohol Change UK
Information and support options for people worried about how much alcohol they are drinking, in both English and Welsh.


0300 123 6600
Confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects, and the law.

London Friend
Offers services to support LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing, including support groups and counselling. These are available online, as well as in person around London. And provides information for on topics including mental health, coming out, and drug and alcohol use.

Turning Point
Health and social care services in England for people with a learning disability. Also supports people with mental health problems, drug and alcohol abuse or unemployment.

We Are With You
Supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family.

Cocaine Anonymous UK

0800 612 0225
Help and support for anyone who wants to stop using cocaine.

DAN 24/7

0808 808 2234
81066 (text DAN)
A bilingual English and Welsh helpline for anyone in Wales in need of further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol. Also known as the Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline. 

Marijuana Anonymous

0300 124 0373
Help for anyone worried about cannabis use.

Narcotics Anonymous

0300 999 1212
Support for anyone who wants to stop using drugs.


020 7324 2989 (email helpline)
National charity that offers free and confidential advice about drugs and the law.


Organisations that can help you support someone else

Information and support for friends and family of people with drug or alcohol problems.


0800 0086 811
Offers support meetings across the UK for anyone whose life is affected, or has been affected, by someone else's drinking. Also provides online support meetings, and a confidential helpline.


0300 888 3853
Provides support to anyone affected by someone else's harmful use of drugs, alcohol or gambling.

Families Anonymous

0207 4984 680
Support for friends and family of people with drug problems.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics

0800 358 3456
Provides information, advice and support for anyone affected by a parent's drinking, including adults.


Gambling Support Organisations

Gamblers Anonymous (GA)

0330 094 0322

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others do the same. 


0808 8020 133

Gambling Support with a lot of ways to get help and resources

NHS Gambling Support

The National Problem Gambling Clinic


Stop Smoking Support Services 

NHS Services

Smoke Free