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Dependency & Addiction


 “When you can stop you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t .” – Luke Davies

Planning to give up tomorrow means we aren’t really planning to give up.

What is dependency or addiction? 

Addiction or dependency may be defined as an uncontrollable habit or compulsion to use a substance or to engage in an activity that is detrimental to the individual’s wellbeing. Furthermore the ‘addict’ is often in denial about the negative aspects of their addiction, choosing to ignore the effects on their health, life patterns and relationships.

Addiction is classified as a ‘disease’ by the World Health Organization and as such needs to be treated as a disease. Treatment may vary from addict to addict depending on severity and/or type of substance or behavior. Addiction may also co-exist with a psychiatric illness or physical disability, and/or with other addictions. This is called dual diagnosis. Please see More about Addiction

(Please note, the words addiction and dependency are meant to be interchangeable. An addict or dependent person may prefer to identify themselves with either word, but the definition, for the purposes of this website are the same.)

Types of addiction

For many, the word ‘addiction’ means chronic drug and alcohol abuse. Because of the physical effects of these substances on the body, and particularly the brain, people have often thought that ‘real’ addiction only happens when people regularly use these substances in large amounts. This may be true of some addicts, but addiction reaches far beyond narcotics and alcohol. People can also develop addictions to behaviors such as gambling and even quite ordinary and necessary activities such as exercise, eating and shopping. What these activities have in common is that the person doing them finds them pleasurable in some way. 

I have grouped addictions into two categories below; chemical (includes alcohol) addictions and behavioral addictions. It is not uncommon for addicts to have multiple addictions eg, drugs, alcohol, bulimia and sex addiction.

Chemical and Drug Addictions

Types of drug and chemical addictions include alcohol, nicotine, narcotics (eg cocaine, heroin, marijuana), caffeine, prescription drug addiction (drugs prescribed by physicians for various reasons such as anxiety and depression).

Behavioural Addictions

Types of behavioral addictions include gambling, food & eating disorders (compulsive overeating, under-eating, bulimia, anorexia nervosa – please see Food and Addiction), sex, love, pornography, people (codependency) work, exercise, video games, shopping,

For information on signs and symptoms of addiction, please see More About Addiction

What’s next

If you think you, or someone you care about might have a dependency problem and might need help, please Contact Me

Please also see Addiction and Recovery Coaching and Addiction SOS