Impacts of Addiction

Addiction to alcohol and other drugs can impact people’s lives in different ways. There are however some common experiences.

Early impacts

Some early signs that alcohol or other drug use is impacting you or someone close to you may include:

  • feeling moody, irritable or angry for seemingly no reason
  • negative changes to relationships and social circles
  • being dishonest to friends and family
  • increasing levels of debt
  • struggling to pay bills on time
  • inability to pay for small luxuries
  • missing work or school or having trouble concentrating at work or studying, or
  • prioritising spending time and money on drugs over other activities.

More serious impacts

If addiction progresses, there can be greater impact and more serious harms caused.

Some signs that alcohol or drug use has become more serious include:

  • declining mental health – depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts
  • declining physical health
  • relationship disruption, conflict or breakdown
  • financial harm – inability to pay for essentials
  • criminal activity – stealing or fraud
  • cultural harm – disengaging from cultural activities, or
  • reduced performance at work or study, loss of job or education

If you identify with any of these there a range of free 24/7 services available to you. If you are concerned about your addiction and would like some support you can chat to a professional counsellor by calling the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015 or visiting Counselling Online at any time.