Imperial Health at Work
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Addictions

Whether your weakness is alcohol, drugs, nicotine, gambling, food or something entirely different, it takes courage and strength to face up to any type of addiction. As any addict will tell you, addictions don’t just affect you, but the people around you too – from family to colleagues, it can hurt a multitude of relationships. But no matter how powerless you feel at the thought of beating your compulsion, help is available.

The first thing to remember is to not lose hope, even if you’ve previously tried and failed to beat your problem. With the right support, you can make a positive change to your life. Recovery is a process, and there’s bound to be some bumps in the road, but you can start your journey to overcoming your addiction by learning how to cope in ways that are constructive rather than destructive.

So you don’t have to wait until you've hit rock bottom – seek help at any time, and start the rest of your life today.

Alcohol

It’s not always easy to see when your drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to being problematic. But if you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties or to avoid feeling bad, you’re in potentially dangerous territory. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can sneak up on anyone, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and take steps to cut back if you recognise them. The three key things to look out for are:

  1. Other people are warning you that you’re drinking too much.
  2. You always feel like you need a drink (rather than just wanting one and being able to ignore the desire).
  3. Your drinking has got you into trouble – either at work, with family or friends, or even with the law.

Understanding and accepting that you have a problem – or even the start of a problem – is the first step to overcoming it.

Useful sites:
http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/
http://www.dryoutnow.com
http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Alcohol/Pages/Alcoholhome.aspx

Drugs

Some people are able to use recreational or prescription drugs without ever experiencing negative consequences or addiction. But for many others, substance use can cause problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, leaving you feeling isolated, helpless or ashamed.

Learning about the nature of drug abuse and addiction - how it develops, what it looks like and why it can have such a powerful hold - will give you a better understanding of the problem and how to best deal with it. So if you’re worried about your own or a friend or family member’s drug use, don’t feel embarrassed about reaching out for help.