Government of New Brunswick

What is addiction?

When substance abuse or a damaging behaviour occupies a central place in a person’s life, that person is addicted. Addicts spend most of their time, energy, and money on their addiction. Alcohol, tobacco, medications, or drug use is regular, predictable, and usually frequent.

Addicts no longer have control over their substance abuse or damaging behaviour. They engage in it even if it causes family, financial, legal, or other problems.

If I’m addicted, I may

  • Spend money my family and I are counting on to gamble or buy drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Break promises to spend time with loved ones or hurt them in other ways, so I can feed my addiction.
  • Engage in excessive substance abuse when my gambling losses increase.
  • Be unhappy because I can’t stop my addiction.
  • Be unable to reach my goals.

When should I seek help?

  • I’ve tried many times, but I can’t change my ways.
  • I’ve changed my behaviour, but I’m still unhappy and feel something is missing.
  • I’m wondering if I need help. Now may be a good time to get it.

Who can help me?