What is Addiction?

Addiction TreatmentThere are many theories around the nature of addiction, most of which have arisen around the nature of an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. More recently, we have come to understand that people can also develop addictions to behaviours, such as eating disorders, sex addiction, love addiction and even quite ordinary and necessary activities such as exercise.


Although the precise symptoms vary from one addiction to another, in clarifying what is an addiction, there are two aspects that all addictions have in common:

Firstly, the addictive behaviour is dysfunctional and harmful to the individual. So instead of helping the person adapt to situations or overcome problems, it undermines them. For example, a “drinker” might want to cheer themselves up as they feel down – yet alcohol and its use, in the form of self medicating, actually contributes to the development of their depression (alcohol being a depressant), circumnavigates their ability to  find more productive coping strategies and creates a number of other secondary problems i.e. health problems . Another example  is a sex addict may crave intimacy – yet the focus on sexual acts in fact prevents any real closeness from developing.

Secondly, the behaviour is persistent. When someone is addicted, they will continue to engage in the addictive behaviour, despite it causing them a whole host of problems.

Notwithstanding your own personal thoughts on addiction, as a leading specialist in the field of behavioural health and addictions, Life Works delivers private addiction treatment dedicated to provide you with the highest level of quality care and support as you work through your issues.

Our aim is to help you move into recovery; be that eating disorder recovery, sex addiction recovery or other forms of recovery, thereby enabling you to get your life back and – most importantly - to live the healthy, fulfilling life that you truly deserve.

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