Tackling addiction

Caring for the wellbeing and safety of your employees is crucial in maintaining a happy, healthy workforce and industry image.

The focus on health and safety is continuous and can always be enhanced on a construction site. However there are aspects of maintaining a healthy wellbeing that can’t always be noticeably seen and can easily go unnoticed, such as an addiction.

“Not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.” NHS 2015

Addiction is most commonly associated with drugs, alcohol and gambling, but it can come in many forms.

For example, spending excessive and unhealthy amounts of time at or doing work outside your assigned hours can be considered an addiction. Commonly known as a ‘workaholic’, such an obsession physically and mentally distresses the addict to the point other aspects of their life suffer such as family, relationships and social life.

Causes of an addiction

An addiction is caused when taking part in a particular action gives the individual an enjoyable high that is strong enough to desire the feeling again. After a prolonged process of repetition it can feel almost impossible to maintain a physical and mental state of wellbeing without acquiring this high. It then becomes a real issue when it is easier to continue on acquiring the high rather than going through the hardship of stopping.

Addiction can also be triggered as a form of escape. Stress and pressure from relationships or work for example can create an environment that is not enjoyable and distressing. It is at this point that another environment can provide an escape which is more enjoyable and favourable. Although this may facilitate a more comfortable sense of being, it is effectively acting as a distraction from reality that eventually will need to be confronted.

  • Gambling for example can result in a stimulating high after a successful win. A habit can form because the individual wants to recreate that feeling and will continue repeating the process until it is achieved again.

Ways to tackle it

Managing and overcoming an addiction can be a timely process that should not be rushed. If you feel like you are suffering from an addiction that is affecting your life then it is advised to speak to a professional in the first instance.

You can find a few ways that can help start to tackle the problem yourself or support another individual below:

  • Contact your GP – A GP can refer an addicted person to a specialist and also use their own surgery’s resources, such as nurses or counsellors. This support can be provided when the addiction is at any stage;
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – Talking therapy can help release any negative thoughts and feelings, enabling the chance to take a step back and re-evaluate. Find out more here;
  • Provide a comforting environment – Overcoming addiction starts with the individual wanting to make a change themselves. It is very important to avoid condemning them for their actions. Provide an environment which is comforting and supportive, they need to believe they can do it and are not alone;
  • Surround yourself with positivity – Friends and family can be your closest form of support as they know you the best. Take the opportunity to enjoy simple activities like going to see a movie or talking over a coffee, distancing yourself from your habits both mentally and physically is key.

You can find out more information about tackling an addiction and other details below:

Go to resource


Footer Reference

NHS. (2015) Overcoming addiction


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