WHAT IS ADDICTION?

Addiction is one of the most misunderstood health conditions. Read evidence-based facts about addiction below and share these with your friends using #RethinkAddiction. Together, we can help end the stigma.

Addiction is a chronic health condition that occurs when someone is unable to stop consuming a drug or activity, even if it is causing physical or psychological harm, or affecting their life.

Addiction is a major contributor to the burden of disease in

Australia, and a leading

preventable cause of injury, illness and death.

Addiction does not discriminate – it affects young and older Australians from all communities, yet it remains one of the least understood and discussed public health issues

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Overcoming addiction is not simply about having good intentions or greater willpower, and such stigmatising views stop people reaching out for help. 

Nobody chooses to become addicted. There are biological, environmental, and life experience-related vulnerabilities that predispose people to addiction. Isolation and trauma are the leading causes.

Addiction can be successfully managed with the right treatment and support. People who get help can achieve recovery, prevent relapse and experience an improved quality of life.

People living with addiction often face a range of other health and social challenges, yet they are required to navigate a fragmented system to find the right type of treatment and support. We need to make getting help much easier.

Help us tell real stories of addiction from people who are dealing with, or have overcome addiction. End the stigma by joining our campaign or sharing a story of how addiction has touched your life.