Put simply, addiction is where a person feels compelled to use a certain substance or carry out a specific behaviour with the aim of making themselves feel good or in some cases feel bad.
Knowing the signs of addiction can make a massive difference to the speed at which you can get help for yourself or someone you know. Scroll below to read more.
There are two different types of addiction, physical and psychological.
Physical addiction means that the body has developed a reliance on a substance and can’t function properly without it.
Psychological addiction is where a person thinks and feels compelled to use a substance or perform a behaviour.
Addiction can involve things like alcohol, drugs or prescription medication, as well as activities like gambling and can negatively impacts a person’s relationships, work commitments, health and other responsibilities.
The effects of addiction can vary hugely from person to person as well as change depending on the situation.
Depending on the extent of your addiction you may be able to make some positive changes on your own or you may need the support of someone with experience.
Mild addictions can usually be managed and may only effect one or two areas of your life in a small way. However, addiction has a habit of growing and increasing its impact on your life.
If addictions aren’t acknowledged and addressed quickly they can go on to have consequences on your relationships, your finances, your ability to work and your ability to play rugby.
Not being able to stop
Excess consumption (drugs & alcohol)
Being secretive with your use
Withdrawal symptoms (mood swings, headaches, fatigue)
Sacrificing other commitments so you can continue your addiction
There are several different types of addiction that can effect each individual differently. It’s important to know the signs of addiction so you can seek help when you need it as well as notice when someone you know might need help too.
Drinking is a common part of life for many Kiwis and there are many different reasons why people drink alcohol. Alcohol addiction can be tricky to notice, especially when we live in a country where it is so widely used.
It can be difficult to know the difference between someone who enjoys a few drinks now and then and someone who has an alcohol problem.
Some of the key symptoms of alcohol addiction are:
Not only can all the effort you’re putting into your training be undone if you’re using alcohol irresponsibly, it can also seriously affect the other areas of your life that are important to you.
Drinking alcohol in moderation can be ok but it’s important to know how many drinks is appropriate for someone your age, gender and size. Have a look at the Alcohol New Zealand website to learn what is right for you or scroll down to find their free phone and text numbers.
For most people, using drugs can start out as an experimental thing but can lead to increased use.
Addiction can seem like a strong word but when someone feels compelled to continue taking a drug, despite the impact on their life the consequences can be huge.
Drug addiction can occur over a period of time and usually gets worse the more involved a person gets. Drug addiction can be both physiological and psychological which means you can suffer physical withdrawals in your body and mental distress without the drug.
If you keep overdoing it, you could also increase your chances of mental health problems. We’re talking stress, anger, depression, anxiety and others. Have a look through the site to learn about these topics too.
Drugs also have unhelpful effects on your rugby performance and although it can take a big effort to stop using drugs, the benefits to your health, rugby and relationships long term are easily worth it. It can be hard to say no when all your mates might be using drugs and pushing you to use them too.
Know that you have a choice and talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling and how you can make a change. If you’re worried about talking to someone you know then try talking to your GP or getting in touch with the support services available at the bottom of this page.
www.drughelp.org.nz provides good information on how to start tackling drug addiction. The Alcohol Drug Helpline also provides a free to call phone and text service, contact numbers can be found at the bottom of the page.
Although gambling does not have any immediate physical consequences, the impact it can have on your mental fitness, your financial circumstances and your ability to live your life can be severe.
Gambling refers to the spending of time or money on an event or activity which does not have an outcome that is certain. There are lots of different types of gambling but some of the most common are:
For some people gambling is a fun activity that they don’t do often. They might go to the races once a year or visit a casino with some mates. It is when gambling becomes a behaviour that is difficult to control that it is a problem.
If you’re finding it hard to stop gambling, having to borrow money, feeling guilty about your gambling and hiding it from others you might need some help.
www.gamblinghelpline.co.nz and www.choicenotchance.org.nz are sites that provide support to those experiencing a gambling addiction and their families. Gambling helpline runs a free to call phone service also, scroll down for contact numbers.
Gaming is an extremely common hobby amongst New Zealander’s, with 2 out of 3 Kiwis playing video games every day. Similar to gambling, video games are designed to draw people in by providing enough challenges for those playing while ensuring success is often just out of reach.
As with other addictions, an addiction to gaming also has it’s warning signs. These can be both physical and emotional.
The majority of these symptoms may be manageable in the short-term, however the long-term effects can be significant if not addressed properly. Chronic sleep and health problems plus the negative impact on your overall wellbeing are serious consequences. If you think gaming might be a problem for you then try speaking to a trusted friend, family member or your GP.
www.netaddiction.co.nz – provides information and advice on internet and gaming addiction, how to know if you have an addiction and where to seek help.
Porn addiction is a form of sexual addiction where an individual is preoccupied with sexualised imagery and loses control of whether they engage in that behaviour despite personal consequences.
Some experts suggest that watching porn to any degree will have a negative impact on an individual’s life, while others suggest that there is such a thing as healthy types and use of porn.
What is clear is that a porn addiction can have severe consequences on a persons overall health and wellbeing and knowing the signs of concern is a good place to start.
Signs of an addiction to porn:
Porn addiction can be treated if you get the right help as soon as you realise you have a problem. Speaking to your partner or someone you trust about how you feel is a good place to start. Your GP can also help you find the right supports that can assist you on the road to tackling your addiction.
It is really important to seek advice and support from a professional, like your GP, if you’re thinking about stopping your use of a drug or other substance, as this needs to be monitored closely to look after your physical wellbeing.
Depending on the extent of your addiction, you may be able to make some positive changes on your own or you may need the support or help of someone with experience. If the strategies below don’t seem enough or you’ve tried quite a few of them already without much success, then it’s probably time to look at asking for help from some of the great services at the bottom of the page.
Stepping away from situations and friends that are familiar to you is very difficult, but when these places and people are ones that encourage your addiction, removing yourself is your best chance of making a change.
Talking to someone about what’s going on for you is one of the best strategies and tools you can use. Make sure the person or people are ones you can trust and that they don’t have connections to your addiction. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know the Alcohol Drug Helpline has a 24/7 helpline available.
Stopping your use of a substance can be extremely mentally challenging but it can also affect your physical health. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant so consider talking to your GP or a medical professional to see how they can support you. www.drughelp.org.nz has some good tips on how to manage withdrawal too.
Talking to someone you trust when you’re struggling with addiction is a really positive step. There are so many different people and places available who offer support on how to make changes and feel better. Family and friends can be great supports but there are others out there if you’d rather not talk to someone that you know.