Addiction is a no-fault condition that can affect anyone regardless of age, social standing, intelligence or education. There is no known definitive cause or cure. It can however be arrested and treated and recovery is attainable.
Addiction /dependency covers the use of psychoactive substances (alcohol, drugs) and also process-based addictions (gambling, shopping, internet etc.) Sex and love addictions are also now being recognised, and are equally distressing for the individual and those connected with them.
Determining and assessing the extent of the problem is the first stage of setting out an individual treatment plan. Many people, while having some of the characteristics, may not fall into the category of addiction or dependency and may need a plan that educates them and helps them moderate their use. Others that clearly fit the category of addiction /dependency will need a more comprehensive treatment plan to cater for their needs.
Help and support for family members is often needed to deal with the pressures involved. Individual and family programmes are also available.