This is a page to support anyone who has experienced addiction, or loves / cares for someone with an addiction. Below you will find specific resources and content to support you on your path to recovery.



What is Addiction?


Addiction is not having control over taking, using or doing something, to the point where it could be harmful to you.

Addiction is most commonly associated with alcohol, drugs, gambling and smoking, but it's possible to be addicted to just about anything, including internet use, work, even shopping. 

There are lots of reasons why addictions begin. Drugs, alcohol and nicotine for example, all affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable and create a powerful urge to use the substances again.


The Impact of Addiction


Being addicted to something means that not having it causes withdrawal symptoms, or a "come down", which is often unpleasant. It becomes easier to carry on taking a substance or continuing a behaviour. Over time you may need more to get the same feeling, creating a cycle of dependence. The signs and symptoms of addictions can vary from person to person and can also depend on the type of addiction that you are suffering from. However, there are several signs and symptoms that are common to most types of addiction, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Secretive or dishonest behaviour
  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work
  • Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
  • Continuing to use the substance, despite the negative consequences.
  • Lack of concern over physical appearance/personal hygiene
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite and overall declining health.


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Other Resources


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  • Drinks MOT - Measure and assess your current alcohol intake by answering a few questions. (Website)
  • RAPID INITIATIVE - Should you have, or come across, unwanted or unused drugs (whether prescribed or illegal) you can deposit them in a RAPID bin safely and discreetly enabling police to then dispose of the drugs ensuring that they are out of ‘harm’s way’ for good. (Website)
  • Cannabis and You - Is it time for a change? This site will help you examine your own cannabis use. (Website)
  • Find out more about Pregabalin - Which can be prescribed for anxiety, neuropathic pain, or epilepsy. It is now also being sourced illegally. (PDF Download)
  • Ways to quit smoking - There isn’t one right way to quit smoking, and no single method is suitable for everyone. (Website)
  • You, your child and alcohol is a booklet that offers parents advice and guidance on how to discuss alcohol with their child and encourages them to think about how their relationship with alcohol can influence their children. (PDF Download)
  • More Coming Soon... Do you have any suggestions? You can join the conversation at the bottom of this page.



  • Alcohol and You Self Help Workbook - For many people, cutting down on their drinking would be a practical step forward, and this workbook could help. (PDF Download)
  • Use the Advantages & Disadvantages worksheet PDF to increase your motivation to make changes. (PDF Download)
  • Find out how much your drinking, using or spending by using the Substance Use Diary or a  Cravings Diary, at least in the early days and weeks. (PDF Download)
  • Core Beliefs Worksheet - Dysfunctional core beliefs about yourself can fuel unhealthy relationships and behaviours, this worksheet helps identify your core beliefs. You can then try this worksheet Examining the Evidence, which will help you to review the evidence for and against your core beliefs. (PDF Download)
  • Confronting Avoidance Worksheet - Avoidance, numbing or distraction is a common response to uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and sensations. But what we resist tends to persist.  This worksheet will help you name the thoughts and feelings you avoid most, evaluate the cost of this avoidance, and examine the accuracy of your beliefs about it. Finally, you will identify concrete ways to face what you've been avoiding.  (PDF Download)
  • Loving Kindness Meditation - Often shame has a big part to play to those that suffer addiction, it can be useful to try self love and kindness meditations via this printable (PDF Download)
  • More Coming Soon... Do you have any suggestions? You can join the conversation at the bottom of this page.




  • Alcohol Drugs and Change - When thinking about change, being unsure of what to do is normal with any change in your life, including decisions about your alcohol or drug use. Be honest with yourself, the only person who can decide what to do about drinking or taking other drugs is you. In this 15-minute clip addiction specialist Ed Sipler asks 8 questions you may find helpful to decide what is best for you.
  • Coming back from a relapse: Getting back on track in recovery, Ed Sipler - Relapse is normal in the recovery from alcohol or drugs. Addiction specialist Ed Sipler and ASCERT have produced this short video as a self help support for people that have experienced relapse and are trying to get back on track.
  • How Triggers & Cravings Impact Addiction and Sobriety - When you’re in treatment or recovery for substance use, there may be certain people, places and even emotions that trigger cravings. Triggers can be internal and external. This video explores how to identify these triggers and understand the role they can play in recovery. 
  • MAISE (Mental Health & Substances) - Urge Surfing - This animation shows the path of an urge. Thinking of cravings as waves in the ocean and learning to surf the urge, supports you taking control over urges.
  • My life as a drug user - For our Drugs Support campaign, we sat down with a young person and had an open conversation about their experiences with drugs. This anonymous and unbiased interview looked into what drugs this young person takes, why they take them, misconceptions about drug users, what's missing from the education system, challenges faced as a result of being a drug user, thoughts on legalisation and final words/advice for young people.
  • My addiction story: "You have to admit you have a problem" - David has put his drug and alcohol addiction behind him and shares his experiences with coming to terms with his addiction.
  • My rehab story: "There is life after addiction" - David has put his drug and alcohol addiction behind him and shares his experiences with rehab and recovery.
  • How Childhood Trauma Leads to Addiction - Gabor Maté explains his approach to addiction, which focuses on the trauma his patients have suffered and looks to address this in their recovery, with special regard to indigenous populations around the world.
  • Recovering from alcohol addiction - Anny and Jodie's story | Recovery Stories - Priory sat down with mum and daughter, Anne and Jodie, to talk about Anne’s experience of recovering from alcohol addiction and the treatment she received at Priory Hospital Hayes Grove.
  • Patrick's story of addiction recovery at the Priory | Recovery Stories - Listen to Patrick, a former Priory client, discuss his recovery journey in his own words.  This starts with the moment that he realised he had a problem, through to his rehabilitation and beyond.  
  • Young people warned of potential risks of gambling addiction - A charity set up by families bereaved by gambling-related suicides has warned of the dangers of gambling advertising for young people as it launches a pilot education programme in schools in Northern Ireland.
  • I started smoking dope when I was 10 | The Top Table - A young addict tells us how a life of drugs abuse has ripped his life apart.
  • Belfast's Pregabalin Addiction | Drugs Map of Britain - Pregabalin, a drug prescribed to treat anxiety, epilepsy and nerve pain has seen huge increases in prescription in Belfast, alongside the illegal trade of the drug on the streets. Director Adam Patterson follows the lives of some young people in Northern Ireland who are using and at times abusing these prescription medications.
  • The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20 - Gabor Maté gives a talk on addiction, from drugs to power. From the lack of love to the desire to escape oneself, from susceptibility of the being to interior power -- nothing escapes. And he risks a generic and generous prescription: "Find your nature and be nice to yourself."
  • Laura's Story: Dr*g addiction and recovery - The Mix spoke with Laura about her experiences with drug addiction and about her recovery. Like Laura, we hope this can be a useful resource for young people interested in understanding drugs, addiction, the stigma attached, the journey of recovery, and where you can get support.
  • Guided Metta Meditation by Tara Brach with Ambient Music | Loving Kindness Meditation - The goal of Metta meditation is to cultivate kindness for all beings.
  • 10-Minute Lovingkindness Meditation with Sharon Salzberg - Happiness that is not shaken by conditions begins with imagining that such stable and open happiness exists, and could exist for us. Meditation practice can play a large part in discovering that happiness. Join Sharon Salzberg for this 10-minute guided lovingkindness meditation to practice cultivating more compassion for yourself and others.
  • Guided Meditation for Addiction Recovery (Overcome Addiction & Cravings) - Meditation for Addiction Recovery & Cravings: Healing & Cope with Substance, Gambling, Alcohol, Drugs & Depression.
  • More Coming Soon... Do you have any suggestions? You can join the conversation at the bottom of this page.







Find Help NI and Health and Social Care organisations in Northern Ireland have partnered with ORCHA (The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps), to create a library of health and wellbeing apps for everyone, that have been reviewed for clinical assurance, data privacy and user experience.
  • Lower My Drinking - Lower My Drinking will give you the expert advice and scientifically-proven tools you need to reduce your drinking to the recommended limit of 14 units a week or less. Available IOS & Android, entirely free.
  • RecoverMe - RecoverMe is a mobile application to help those who suffer with a gambling addiction. Available IOS & Android, in app purchases.
  • I Am Sober - Along with tracking your sober days, it helps you build new habits and provides ongoing motivation by connecting you to a wide network of people all striving for the same goal: staying sober one day at a time.  Available IOS & Android, in app purchases.
  • DrinkCoach -  is for those wanting to cut down, or simply keep an eye on, their drinking. Available IOS & Android, entirely Free.
  • Gambless - Do you want your unhealthy habits to stop ruining your life, your finances, your relationships? If you feel that gambling is stronger than you, it’s time to coach yourself a little psychology. Available IOS & Android
  • More Coming Soon... Do you have any suggestions? You can join the conversation at the bottom of this page.



Find Help Near You - Addiction

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