Some words get used in an interchangeable way when it come to describing what happens to a person who does not seem to be able to control their use of a substance (alcohol/drugs) or has little control over a behaviour (gambling) - do we call it Addiction or Dependence or Misuse. It does not really matter.
The best example may be smoking: if you have ever smoked you will know what it means to have a strong compulsion to keep doing it and how hard it can be to stop it. That same relationship, for some people, to alcoholic drink, illegal and prescription drugs or to gambling can have devastating consequences for the individual and those around them. Almost no one intends to become addicted to a substance or behaviour but it is something that usually happens over time. Research in this area raises more questions than answers when it come to understanding why it is that some people are affected and others do not become dependent - are there genetic, behavioural, social reasons?
At White Oaks we do not see it as a puzzle to be unravelled but take each person as a human being who wants to be better. We approach treatment with a view that abstinence is the best way ahead for bringing a person to a better way of living who at present is in difficulties because of the relationships they have with alcohol, drugs or gambling.