Addiction doesn’t just refer to abuse of dangerous drugs. It is a lifestyle you have no control over. You can be addicted to anything from food and beverage to abstract ideas. It’s not a fixation on an object or idea, but a behavioral problem.
There are two types of addiction, substance dependence and behavioral addiction. An addict cannot control his/her thoughts and actions. They become dependent on a thing or activity to cope with everyday life. It all begins with a harmless habit. All of us have habits, but habits are performed by choice and can be stopped or never acted on. Addiction on the other hand is dependency on performing a task or consumption of a food or drink to relieve the experience felt the first time it happened.
In cases of alcohol addiction for example, the person becomes dependent and develops a high tolerance. That will lead the person to consume alcohol in higher dosages more frequently to feel sated.
Who is affected?
There is no specific age, gender and ethnicity that will determine who can suffer addiction. Symptoms include loss of control, preoccupation with the activity or object, several failed attempts to stop, continued acts or use despite health risks and consequences, tolerance for a substance, denial of the condition, neglect to perform daily tasks, and withdrawal symptoms when the person attempts to stop.
Addiction can ruin relationships, career or studies and the person’s mental and physical health. It can take up a lot of time and resources too. Substance and alcohol abuse can also lead to violence, accidents and overdoses. Dangerous drugs can alter your brain that is why continued use makes it more difficult to get your life back together.
Where do I get help?
If you or someone you know needs help, there are groups in Singapore that could help you get or your friend’s life back together. Do not wait until you hit rock bottom or suffer serious health problems before you call for help.
The National Addictions Management Service has programs for excessive gaming or use of the Internet, gambling, alcohol, drugs, and inhalants.
The Cabin Singapore was established to help people suffering from alcohol abuse.
WE CARE Community Services Limited has counseling and programs for drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, and Internet addiction as well as shop-lifting and eating disorders.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) was established to help those struggling to break the cycle of sex and love addiction.
The Institute of Mental Health has a National Addictions Management Service to help patients who are in need of assistance for treatment of substance and behavioral addictions.
One Hope Center is a non-profit volunteer group set up to help those with issues in gambling.