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    According to the NHS there are an estimated 2 million people fighting an addiction, it is not known how many of these are adolescents. What is an addiction? It is a strong, uncontrollable need to use drugs, or have a drink, or gamble, or keep having sex regardless of the consequences. The addiction takes over and controls what you do and how you do it. There are some who can drink, or gamble, or use the internet, or play games without having an issue or allowing it to become a major part of their daily life.

    You are at risk if:

    • Abuse has been experienced during your developmental years
    • You experience mental health issues
    • Other members of your family have addiction issues.

    Many do not turn around one day and say I am going to become an addict, it happens over time. A behaviour may become more and more frequent, giving rise to its intensity and allowing the brain and body to gradually become tolerant of its effects so much so that the individual has to do it more and more and more to keep getting the same effects. If you have tried to stop, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms will develop – each different to another.

    Treating addictions can be done with the help of a variety of organisations and professionals. Discussing with your GP your concerns can be a great way to begin the journey, or attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Involving friends and family on your road to recovery can be a huge support for you, as well as helping them understand what you are going through.

    Outdoor therapies such as Equine or Walk and Talk are extremely useful in assisting in your personal recovery or addressing addiction and compulsive behaviours. No matter what type of recovery is practiced; be it substance abuse, general mental health, family of origin or trauma outdoor therapy can be beneficial. All sessions are presented in a non- confrontational manner allowing your growth to be at your pace. Equine therapy is also a perfect match for individuals in 12-step recovery groups since many of the learning and therapeutic concepts in equine therapy fit into a 12- step approach and philosophy. All sessions are individualised to each participant’s level of acceptance, and growth potential. However, if there is a community need, Equine Addiction recovery groups can be developed to reduce costs for clients.