It takes courage and strength to face up to any type of addiction, whether the problem relates to alcohol, drugs, nicotine, gambling, shopping or the Internet. But no matter how long you've been addicted, or how powerless you feel, remember that help is available and giving up your addiction is possible. There is no reason why you won’t be able to overcome your addiction with the right support, even if you’ve tried and failed before.
Recovery is a process, and there are bound to be some bumps in the road. But you can overcome your addiction by learning how to cope in ways that are constructive rather than destructive to yourself and others.
It can be hard to tell how much alcohol is too much, and some people may not even notice that their previously moderate drinking has reached potentially dangerous levels. It is important to be aware of the warning signs and take steps to cut back if you recognise them. If you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties or to avoid feeling bad, you may want to re-evaluate how much you are drinking. Understanding and recognising the problem is the first step to overcoming your addiction.
Whether you’re a heavy smoker or smoke one or two cigarettes a day, giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. You’re up to four times more likely to successfully quit if you use the NHS stop smoking service, as having the support of a trained advisor can make all the difference, so make sure you make the most of help available.
You’ll also notice the benefits of giving up smoking very quickly. Finding out exactly what will happen to your body may help you deal better with withdrawal symptoms and mean you are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking.
Some people can use recreational or prescription drugs without ever experiencing negative consequences or addiction. For many others, substance use can cause problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, leaving you feeling isolated, helpless or ashamed.
If you’re worried about your own or a friend or family member’s drug use, it’s important to know that help is available. Learning about the nature of drug abuse and addiction – how it develops, what it looks like, and why it can have such a powerful hold – will give you a better understanding of the problem and how to best deal with it.