Addiction is a lot more common than you may think. Although frequently linked to alcohol and hard drugs, it’s actually possible to become addicted to pretty much anything. From work, chocolate, the 55 million cups of coffee drank every day, to the 87 million or so cigarettes smoked daily, addiction is widespread and sometimes hard to identify.
What are the signs of addiction?
Signs can vary, but common indicators are:
- Prioritising a particular behaviour or substance over social activities
- A psychological or physical dependence on a substance or behaviour
- An ongoing desire to cease the behaviour or use of substance, and the inability to do so
The addictions people don’t recognise
The UK is in the midst of a serious obesity crisis with a whopping 62% of us overweight. It’s feared that sugar is in pretty much everything we eat, contributing to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and risk of stroke. For some, saying no to a chocolate bar or fizzy drink is a real struggle. The lack of regulation and taxation may be changing, with the government trying to and make these products less appealing.
Re-thinking the definition of “drugs”
When someone mentions the word ‘drugs’, we’re inclined to start thinking about addiction to class A substances or marijuana. Drug addiction is all-encompassing, and can relate to everything from caffeine, alcohol and nicotine to painkillers and other opioids. Drug misuse accounted over 3,700 deaths in England and Wales last year, but this doesn’t account for alcohol related deaths, which rose to just over 8,600 in 2016. Alcohol isn’t the most dangerous addictive substance out there though – nicotine still reign supreme, connected to over 120,000 deaths in the UK each year.
The truth about gambling addictions
Addiction doesn’t always have to stem from the things we put in our bodies. The health issues related to gambling addiction are often overlooked, but can sometimes be severe. With over 400,000 people in the UK suffering from problem gambling, the risk of depression and suicide can be much higher in those with a gambling problem. But resources have increased to help people manage and overcome these issues.
Reaching out for help
As well as multiple support groups including gamblers anonymous, GamCare and the NHS service, online casinos are doing more to support problem gamblers and to prevent them from accessing gambling altogether. Market leading online gambling providers ensure that their players are safe and they are gambling responsibly, 888casino have a total commitment to responsible casino gaming. This includes self-bans, account limits, problem gambling recognition software and support services for those who believe they are struggling to stop. This creates a more sustainable business model and helps people to gamble in moderation for enjoyment, rather than letting it control their lives.
A final word…
If you feel that you are struggling with any sort of addiction, the key takeaway is that you are certainly not alone, and there is free, confidential help at hand. A chat with your GP, a quick search of the web or a call to a Freephone hotline is the first step to reducing, and eventually beating addiction. You can find out more at the NHS dedicated addiction site.