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What is addiction?

Addiction also known as substance abuse disorder is the uncontrollable or destructive use of substances regardless of increasingly negative outcomes. Abuse can also be a behaviour which becomes difficult to control and which results in negative consequences, as in gambling, sexual behaviour, gaming or excessive screen use.

This is a treatable condition most often starting as coping strategy for unwanted emotions, and ending in physical, social, professional and psychological problems – as well as a strong cognitive denial of the negative effects of the abuse of the substance.

Many sufferers are high-functioning and may seem to be in control as they continue to hold down jobs and meet responsibilities but suffer immensely in their private lives.

Addictive substances and behaviours include alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, sex, gambling and gaming, to name a few.