Addiction is a complex issue and one that’s becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. The stereotypical image of addiction is an addiction to a substance, such as:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription drugs

When we look at the definition of addiction, we see the picture becomes complex with many factors that can each play a part influencing addictive behaviour.

Addiction is defined as the compulsion to engage in certain behaviour despite negative consequences. With this definition in mind, the scope of addiction is opened up to include things such as the internet or gambling addiction.

Addictions can take many forms, and as we continue to learn more about them, we’re also learning more about treating them.

We’ll discuss the help that’s available after we look at the main causes of addiction.


What are the main causes of Addiction?

Causes of addiction are varied, and each case of addiction is likely to have been caused by a different combination of factors, however, these factors can largely be categorised into four groups:

  • Environment
  • Mental health
  • Genetics
  • Trauma



Areas, where large amounts of drugs are present, have higher levels of addiction. This can also make it easier for children and teenagers to experiment with a variety of substances that they may end up getting an addiction to.

Children whose parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to become addicts themselves. This might be in part become consumption, and especially unhealthy levels of consumption, are normalised, but also because substances will be available for children to experiment with.

Peer pressure, especially for teenagers, can lead to experimentation and continued use of substances they may not have had access to, or wouldn’t have otherwise used themselves.


Mental Health

Mental health and addiction are linked. Certain mental health conditions can double the likelihood of a substance abuse issue, but the flipside of this is that treating the mental health disorder may reduce the chance of drug use in the future.

Suffering from a mental health condition and an addiction simultaneously is called a dual diagnosis, and it’s important to treat both separately when looking at treatment options.



The nature vs nurture debate seeks to find the balance between the influence of inherited traits and the environment. As we’ve already discussed, environmental factors do play a role in addiction, but there’s evidence that genetic factors do as well.

We’ve seen that a person’s parents being addicted can increase their likelihood of suffering from addiction, and this is thought to be partly due to genes. Inherited traits and physical capabilities also influence whether someone is likely, or able, to experiment with drugs and become addicted.



The use of drugs and alcohol can be a way of self-medicating to cope with a traumatic incident in the past. This might include childhood trauma, including sexual or physical abuse, PTSD, witnessing something traumatic, or a significant life event that they’re unable to cope with.

These things can put someone at high risk of substance abuse and addiction, and treatment requires incredible sensitivity to tackle these issues appropriately


The Effects of Addiction

Addiction is inevitably accompanied by negative effects. These can be illness or long term health conditions, a breakdown in personal relationships, loss of financial security and status, injury, mental health conditions, or incarceration.

You shouldn’t wait for negative effects to prevent them before seeking help. If you believe you have an issue with addiction, contact Asana Lodge today to see how we can help.

We also understand that addiction doesn’t only affect the addict. For those who witness someone close to them suffering from addiction, it can be extremely difficult. We offer:

We can provide support, advice, and most importantly, help the person you care about to receive the help that they need.


Treatment for Addiction

Addiction treatments are available to treat all kinds of addiction and are tailored to suit the individual needs of each person.

The first stage is the admissions process. This is crucial in understanding the type and severity of your addiction, as well as your physical and mental health. At Asana Lodge, we’ll help you select the most appropriate treatment plan and guide you through each of the steps that lead to the road to recovery.

Rehabilitation is the treatment that will help you beat your addiction. There are two types of rehab treatment, inpatient and outpatient.

Outpatient treatment involves attending appointments at a centre while continuing to live at home, this is often long term, lasting several months.

Inpatient treatment at a residential treatment centre involves temporarily living at a treatment centre, usually for a period of 28 days, where supportive, professional staff will be on hand to guide you through a mix of physical and psychological treatments to get to the root of your addiction. Inpatient treatment is generally more effective for most people and most types of addiction.

Detoxification is the first stage of most rehab treatments, and this involves the addicted substance leaving the body. It’s often unpleasant due to withdrawal symptoms, and at Asana Lodge, medically trained staff are on hand to ensure you are safe throughout this process.

Completing a rehab programme is a huge achievement and extremely important in building a sober future, but relapse prevention is an important consideration for those leaving rehab, as they’re entering an environment that may have led them to use substances in the first place.

Aftercare works by providing the support to resist use in the future. The most common time to relapse is the first 12 months after treatment and at Asana Lodge, we provide weekly catch-up sessions with trusted therapists and former residents for a year after treatment.

If you’re struggling with addiction, don’t feel like you have to do so alone. We’re on hand to help, so contact us today by calling 01908489421 or emailing


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 7 December 2021

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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