Hope  & Area Transition Society Addiction ServicesStatement on Addictions

Addiction is characterized by an overwhelming involvement with a particular substance or activity. For individuals addicted to a licit or an illicit substance, using the substance, recovering from using the substance and securing the supply of the substance becomes necessarily central to their lifestyle. Addiction affects everyone in different ways, but its severity is measured by the degree to which the activity impairs a person’s ability to function adequately in society and be autonomous. Addiction touches us all at some point in our lives, either directly or indirectly. It is crucial that everyone is aware of the potential consequences of substance misuse.

Addictions are very common and very complex. They seem to depend on a lot of things:

  • The drug or behaviour involved
  • The person’s psychology, biology and genes
  • The person’s past experiences
  • The person’s life situation
  • How available drugs are to the person
  • How acceptable the drug or behaviour is to the person, their friends and society
  • Fortunately, there are things that can help anyone avoid addiction
  • A person has choices. If they seem to be using a drug more and more in certain situations, they can look for ways to avoid those situations
  • If someone has a history of addiction in their family, it’s wise to be extra alert and take the time to learn about their generational patterns
  • Learn about the addictiveness of any drug, including prescription drugs and caffeine
  • If someone is already having trouble with a drug or type of behaviour, they should seek help and support for their addiction.