When we are addicted to something, it means we have no control over doing, thinking or using to the point it could be detrimental to ourselves. When we engage with something that is addicting it creates a strong desire and urge to repeat these feelings. Such repetition can develop into a habit that is very hard to break, ultimately leading to addiction. Addiction is commonly associated with gambling, drugs and alcohol but addictions can arise from other things, including:

  • Work – as a student it can be easy to become obsessed with your work to the point of physical exhaustion. Taking breaks from university work and employment is important for your long-term health.
  • Internet – this can be on your phone or laptop where you find yourself increasingly using the internet and apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Reddit etc. for hours each day. Excessive usage can make us neglect other aspects of our lives.
  • Gambling – can be harmless fun but can develop into an unhealthy addiction that may lead to financial problems. strain your relationships, interfere with work, and lead to financial disaster.
  • Prescription medication – can become a problem as some students think it will help them have more fun, lose weight, fit in, and even study more effectively. Misuse can arise from medication you are prescribed or someone else is, and you use. It is problematic as a dependency can build on these medications and they can cause longer term health problems.
  • Solvents – volatile substance abuse is when you inhale substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol or lighter fuel to give you a feeling of intoxication. This can have serious health implications that are immediate.
  • Shopping – shopping becomes an addiction when you buy things you don't need or want to achieve a buzz; this is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair.

We also provide advice on Alcohol and Drug addiction, which can be found here. Addiction is often linked to mental health problems. Your addiction may have started as a way to cope with feelings that you felt unable to deal with in other ways.

What support do we offer?

If you realise you are struggling with an addiction, that its self is the first step to recovery. Student Services can work collaboratively with you to help you make changes to your life that can help you manage this and make positive changes. We may discuss a referral to your GP or a specialist third-sector organisation, if appropriate. You can email to talk about further support.

Alternative Internal Support 

You can access self-help and alternative support through various University channels such as:

External Support

If you would like to access some self-help materials here are a list of alternative support resources.