What Is Addiction?

Addiction is termed: 'the progressive abuse of something that is repetitious and difficult or impossible to control, engaging in a compulsive behavior'. Some of the things listed below however may in some cases be more correctly termed compulsions and/or obsessions. There is some debate about the differences; but basically an addiction is usually something which you enjoy doing, or started off enjoying, and involves some degree of physical dependence. An obsession is termed 'an idea or a thought dominating a person's mind'. A compulsion on the other Hand is termed 'an irresistible urge' or 'a repetitive behaviours' (e.g. cleaning or checking something continually) it is a behaviour often performed in response to an obsession. The other term used here is obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)

The path to addiction will be different for each of us. We may have a void in our life and be looking for something to fill it for instance. Or we may have a particular issue which is just overwhelming us that we need some release from. In our communities there will always be people on the fringes of society looking for a way to escape. These can be the very early roots of addiction.

Acknowledging that we might be in this group, can be the first step on the road to recovery.

There is a list below of some of the components or characteristics of addiction. Your first step will be to look honestly at yourself. Do any of them apply to you? Only you will really know. People around you may be suspicious.

If you are looking at this site on behalf of someone else, ask them the questions. Do not make assumptions or judgements.

So if that habit or behaviour is controlling you, if you think you might be, or know you are, addicted or know someone who is, then read on....

Some of the characteristics of an addictive habit or behaviour:

  • not under your control - it controls you, when involved in the behaviour you feel like you are living on automatic pilot;
  • a compulsion, a regular part of your life, where the edges have become blurred, difficult to imagine life without, cannot exist without it;
  • you find yourself doing again and again, for a bigger or better 'hit' or 'buzz'
  • you find yourself doing more and more to escape feelings like boredom, grief, frustration, sadness, rejection or failure; ยท which you spend, more and more time/finances on;
  • which becomes self-obsessive, spending a lot of mental and emotional energy denying and struggling against yourself and others;
  • which may be sapping your energy. Reducing your effectiveness and self esteem, and disrupts family, social, love and work life, in addition to damaging your physical and mental health.
  • which you enjoy, or at least you may have in the past enjoyed; partaking in, otherwise you would not do it
  • which is progressive, and can be developed over along period of time
  • Finally though the addiction may bring short-term pleasure, it may also bring long term harm. The person who works long hours from morning till evening may see their relationships or social life slowly ebbing away.

The next step

The story does not end there however, this is just the beginning. The first and most difficult step is acknowledging that you have a problem, maybe acknowledging that you are 'powerless' as the AA/Overcomers Twelve-step theory says. Or maybe you want to control the addiction instead of it controlling you. Whatever you feel, 'the acknowledging' that you have a problem is the first, hardest and most important step. WELL DONE!!

From here some people will struggle on their own, some will get help from a counsellor, some will explore treatment in a residential setting.

The key is being ready and willing to surrender. We recieve power though this unlike anything else. Jesus is wanting us to surrender our all: our will, our struggles and weaknesses, to Him. The Twelve Step AA/Overcomers programme talks about this in more detail. It does not simply say we need to give up our 'drug/behaviour' or whatever we term 'it'. To fight our willpower and try not to indulge does not always work.

Instead it asks us to surrender our will to God (though the 12 step term for this 'a God of our understanding') When we do this, we gain power and mastery over our 'drug' and deliverance becomes possible. Maybe you always thought surrender meant defeat - but in reality, as the 12 step programmes will tell you: ' it turns out to be the way to victory'.

Personally I and many others can recount of a relationship 'like nothing else on this earth'. A relationship which can bring freedom and acceptance. A relationship with Jesus Christ, who called Himself the 'Great I Am' - Exodus Chap. 3 verse 14 & John Chap. 8 verse 58.

If you want to find out more about this, do feel free to contact us, or someone you know who has experienced this relationship for themselves. We would also be very happy to pray with/for you. So, if you have got this far maybe you have acknowledged that you do have a problem and you do need/want help. We would encourage you to move forward. Don't delay make the first step now! What is stopping you - apart from you!

What kind of help is available?

Self help groups such as 'your addiction' Anonymous or overcomers a Christian twelve step programme. You should be able to find more details of these contacts in the links section on this site or in your local telephone directory.

Professional help from a local advisory service, or your doctor. Either of these may refer you for counselling, or in the case of a substance based addiction, for detox. Detox is the medical part of the rehab. i.e. removing/substituting the drug from your system. On completion of the detox, depending on your addiction, there are residential rehab. centres where you may be able to go. If you are referred here by the professional agencies, you might be funded. This is less increasingly becoming the case and is leading various centres having to look for funding elsewhere. The advantage of this is that you will hopefully be able to access the residential places quicker and with less paperwork. The disadvantage is the places are probably limited. With some centres, you may of course refer yourself and pay for the treatment yourself.

You will find further details of everything mentioned above, including some treatment centres, on the page entitled links. If you do not find what you are looking for please do contact us and we will do what we can to help.

If you wish to continue from here, please visit the: Defining Drugs page. If you want to know more about drugs generally and why we take drugs, or if you have read enough, go to the Types of Addiction page and select the particular addiction you are interested in. Go for it...!

Please do feel free to contact us and let us know how things have gone or if we can pray for you for example. We love hearing feedback: good or bad!