What is an Addiction?

An Addiction is a health disorder where you are unable to stop doing something that is causing harm to you or others. The most common Addictions are to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and gambling. Addiction is often chronic, which means it goes on for a long time. It is also relapsing, meaning that you might go back to the addiction a few times on your path to recovery. An Addiction can take over your life, affecting your health, work, study, relationships, and finances.

People can develop an addiction to:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription drugs
  • Street drugs
  • Solvents
  • Activities like gambling, shopping, computer games, exercise, or eating.

At the start, you might start to notice problems with close relationships and your moods. As addiction gets worse you might:

  • need more to get the same effect
  • have withdrawal symptoms or feel sick if you stop
  • sometimes use more than you mean to
  • priorities the addiction over other things
  • keep going even though you know it is bad for you or others you care about
  • Try to cut down but can’t.

If you are worried about yourself or someone you know, even if you aren’t sure if the problem is ‘an addiction’, it’s important to seek help.

Recovery is when you feel like you are back on track in your life, not just when you stop the addictive behavior.
Most people do recover from addiction, although for some it takes a long time.
Expect recovery, The majority of people who have an addiction will recover.

Relapse is very common. Consider it a normal part of the recovery journey.
Stress is the most common reason for people to relapse. If you are recovering it’s important to think through ways you might deal with stressful situations.
Treatments work best when you expect to relapse and plan for it.

    • Online counseling
    • motivational interviewing and cognitive behavior therapy
    • medication
    • group therapy (including support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous)
    • family therapy
    • Detox programs at home
    • Rehab at home


You will need a referral from your GP to access this service.


You will need a mental healthcare plan (MHCP) from your GP to access this service for Medicare rebates, unless paying privately.

The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please speak to your doctor for advice about your situation. HelloDoc is not liable for any consequences arising from relying on this information.


Don’t delay getting the mental healthcare attention you need, get a referral from your GP and book an appointment.