Understanding addiction

Anybody can become addicted to anything. As well as drugs and alcohol, people can become addicted to certain foods, gambling and even smart phones.

Addiction usually begins with somebody doing something that they enjoy, which makes them want more. When somebody keeps having more of something, their body gets used to it and needs more to feel satisfied. When somebody is addicted to something, they cannot function properly without it and will eventually experience withdrawal symptoms.

Drugs and alcohol are especially addictive as they chemically change the way that people feel. The withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol are very challenging as a person’s body becomes dependent.

Addiction is tough, for the people who are addicted and the people who care about them. If you are worried about somebody else’s addiction, read our advice page.


No matter what gender, age, race or social class, anybody can become an alcoholic.

As a lot of social activities involve alcohol, recovery can be and often is a very difficult process. Because of the way that the body becomes addicted to alcohol, it can sometimes be dangerous for an alcoholic to stop drinking suddenly.

Because alcohol can be consumed safely and bought legally by adults aged 18 or over, people can underestimate how dangerous it can be, but alcoholism is far more common than drug addiction, and because of this, breaks up more families and takes more lives.

Are you drinking too much?

If you are over 18, you can take a simple survey at drinkaware.co.uk to find out whether you should be concerned about your drinking levels. 

If you are local to Bracknell, under the age of 18 and worried about your own drinking, there is a substance misuse officer who works within the council. For more information contact New Hope.

Talk to FRANK also have a helpline you can call on 0300 123 6600.

Worried about someone else?

If you are worried about a family member’s drinking, read our advice page.

Drug addiction

Drug addiction can rob you of your friends, money, health, confidence and happiness.

Because there are so many reasons as to why you can become addicted to drugs, and because addiction can change your behaviour, it can be easy to feel as though nobody will understand you and can also make you feel lonely.

Often the most important step in getting help is speaking about the issue. There are thousands of people trained to help you, who understand drug addiction properly and can provide you with non-judgemental, confidential advice.

Many people who experiment with drugs do so without becoming addicted. However, if you are aware that you or a loved one has a drug addiction, there are people that can help you. Read our local services page for more information on getting help.

Contact information

Drug and Alcohol Action Team

01344 312360
Make an enquiry