What are addictions?


Addictions are behaviours which a person continues, despite the negative impact on his or her life.  Addictions could include alcohol and prescription or illegal drugs that change the way people think and feel.  Other substances that are commonly abused are nicotine and caffeine.  When thinking of addictions, most people think of substance abuse, however addictions can be compulsive behaviours including gambling, eating, sexual activity, and use of the computer.

Some signs of addiction can be thought of through the four ‘C’s:

  • Loss of control (feeling overwhelmed and helpless);
  • Compulsive use or behaviour (can’t stop.. just one more);
  • Cravings (immediate or urgent want of a substance or behaviour or activity); and
  • Continued use or behaviour despite increasingly negative consequences (trouble with the law, missing time at work).

To learn more about the signs of addictions and where to get help contact your local Community Counselling Program.


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