Alcohol, drugs, medication and certain behaviours such as gambling, overeating or excessive internet surfing - many things have potential for addiction. Whether, and how quickly, someone develops an addiction depends on the substance and their individual challenges, such as mental stability. Addictions are not character weaknesses but chronic illnesses that must be taken seriously. People affected by addiction should seek professional help as early as possible from a doctor or counselling service.
- Addictions do not happen overnight: it is often a slippery slope from occasional "rewards" to regular, risky consumption. The earlier a person seeks help, the easier it will be for them to beat the addiction.
- There is a diverse range of counselling, treatment and support services on offer for those at risk of or already experiencing addiction. Counselling services, doctors and self-help groups are qualified points of contact.
- Alcohol and drugs counselling services offer sensitive advice on all issues relating to addictive substances, risks of addiction and dependency and coordinate additional assistance. They are free of charge and their advisors have a duty of confidentiality.
- They also provide assistance aimed at the relatives of people at risk of or already suffering from addiction.
If you are looking for counselling or support services, you can take any questions you have to a Migration Advice Service for Adult Immigrants (MBE). You can also contact an MBE advisor using the MBE online advice service.