An addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on a substance or behaviour. People may become addicted to alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs, smoking, food or particular foods, gambling, online gaming, sex or shopping.

Addictions become entrenched over time, may affect day to day functioning and impact on a person’s relationships, finances and health.

If you are addicted to a substance (e.g. nicotine, alcohol), over time your body will develop a tolerance to that substance, so that larger doses are required to get the same effect .

Withdrawal from addictions usually will lead to unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings like:

  • Feeling unsettled, unwell or moody if you are not able to use the substance you are addicted to, or partake in the activity you are addicted to
  • Poor work performance
  • Feeling unable to cope with everyday life without what you are addicted to
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling depressed, angry or anxious

These symptoms may also cause concern for those close to the individual with the addiction.