Introduction to Overcoming Addiction.
Some years ago I worked with a client who was overcoming addiction, in recovery from cocaine addiction. He explained that it had all started so well, with the occasional line of cocaine at the weekend. The drug which gave him the ability to party a little bit longer and drink a little bit more. He noted that it was hard to explain how it went from that to sitting alone in his kitchen in the very early hours of a Thursday morning with a line of cocaine as his only companion, his ability to function and continue working in serious jeopardy.
It struck me that this was a great analogy for any addictive behaviour. It starts so innocently, we’re in control, and there is fun to be had. And suddenly, it’s no longer so innocent, we’re no longer in control, and it is anything but fun. It can be really hard to recognise when that shift happened, and it can be even harder to recognise that we need help.
The Reality of Addiction.
Astonishingly, addiction costs the UK economy well over £40 billion a year (figures from ASH, the NHS, and the Department for Health and Social Care), a significant sum. Notably, data from Delemere, which you can view here, shows that the cost of drug and alcohol addiction for an individual can range from £3000 to amounts in excess of £25,000 a year.
Addiction impacts all aspects of life, from employment to family and relationships. It affects our streets and communities. It damages employment and the economy. And, of course, it uses resources from the NHS, Social Care, and the Police.
Crucially, addiction can affect anyone at any time. While many of us may have seen people out and about who appear to be addicted to some form of substance, many addictions remain hidden and, at times, socially acceptable. Who has a daily glass or two of wine, thinking nothing of it? Yet, who then feels out of sorts, irritable, upon discovering that there are no more bottles in the house?
Above all else, there is a personal cost to addiction. It affects not only the person with the addiction, but also impacts on those around them. It tears families apart. Additionally, it causes relationships to end. Significantly, it has a lasting effect on children who witness addiction or who are dealing with addiction themselves. Furthermore, it leads to personal debt and, in extreme cases, the loss of everything, assets, savings, income all gone to feed a habit, feed an addiction.
The first step is, of course, understanding that there is something to address. And if you need help to take the first step, book a free initial consultation here. You know that you can do it, don’t you?