Everyone will have their own picture of what a drug addict is. It may be the image of the junkie shooting up heroin, and although this may represent one facet of drug addiction the vast majority of addicts do not conform to this stereotype. Addiction can affect anyone and there are many drugs, both legal (for example tranquillisers and sleeping tablets etc.) and illegal (cocaine, cannabis etc.) that people can become addicted to.
How common is it?
Department of Health statistics for a six month period to 30th September 1999 report a 7% increase over the previous period in the number of people seeking help from drug misuse agencies. Heroin was the most commonly used drug (59%) followed by cannabis, methadone, amphetamines and cocaine.
How do I know if I have it?
Complete the questionnaire on this site and if this shows a cause for concern seek a professional assessment of your problem.
Can it be inherited?
There is growing evidence that there is a genetic predisposition to addiction, but addictions are also common in people with no genetic predisposition, especially in the area of drug addiction.