Addiction

Defining addiction

Addiction is a compulsion to use a substance or continue with a certain type of behaviour in order to feel good or to avoid feeling bad.

The Alcohol Drug Association New Zealand identifies the following behaviours as indicating that someone might have a problem with alcohol or drugs:

  • drinking too much (perhaps vomiting or experiencing a hangover)
  • overdosing (losing consciousness)
  • regular need for the alcohol or other drug
  • having previous failed attempts to stop using
  • significant changes in mood and/or behaviour
  • a decline in health (mental and/or physical)
  • neglecting responsibilities
  • lowered productivity
  • accidents
  • financial problems
  • deteriorating relationships at work and with family and friends
  • doing things you normally wouldn't do (such as illegal activities like stealing)

While you may not be able to immediately identify a problem with alcohol or other drug use, your pattern of use may be hazardous in that it puts you at risk of developing one or more of these problems in the future.

If you think that you,or anyone you know might have an addiction, there are many excellent organisations that can offer help and assistance.

Do I have an addiction?

There are a number of online tests which are designed to measure your actions or use of substances and to provide an assessment of your