The effects of addiction

Published on by Ray Knott

People can become addicted to a whole range of substances such as illegal drugs, alcohol, and even prescription drugs. In this article, we will look at the effects that addictions have on individuals and people around them.

Who is at risk?

If you mention the word addiction, most people’s first thoughts would turn to a drug addict, injecting illegal drugs and thinking that this is a different world from theirs. The reality is somewhat different, and many people would be surprised to know that substances like alcohol, for example are having the same, if not worse effects as those addicted to drugs.

Alcohol addiction

Alcohol has a different image to that of illegal drugs, one of pleasure: being sociable, and having a good time with friends and family. As alcohol is freely available in supermarkets, corner shops, pubs and clubs, people do not regard drinking as a potential addiction. There are countless articles in the media about binge drinking and the related behavioural problems associated with it. Very often, the addicts will themselves deny that they have any issues with a substance, choosing to regard themselves as casual users, and that they can stop whenever they choose.


Don’t make the mistake of assuming that addiction affects only the young, the poor, or the reckless. Addictions know no boundaries, with professionals, and the wealthy are just as likely to become victims.

Wrecking lives

Those who develop an addiction become changed people, willing to do anything to either get hold of whatever they are addicted to, or to get the money to pay for it. Addictions break up relationships and families, and wreck lives. Family members are often forced to abandon loved ones because they cannot cope with the emotional stresses of their unpredictable and often violent behaviour.

Reasons for getting addicted

There are many reasons why people become addicted to a substance, they may be looking to escape problems in their lives, they may be under pressure at work, or have relationship problems. Whatever be the reason driving the individual to consume drugs, the end result is the same: a life of misery, deteriorating health, social exclusion, and stigma, and in the worst cases, a premature death.

Final note

If any of this sounds familiar to you, then do yourself and your loved ones a favour by seeking help immediately by contacting Addaction, the U.K. addiction service on:

Tel. 020 7251 5860 or go to


Published on Addictions

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