Frequently Asked Questions


Click on a question to view the answer below


What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence" is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It includes four symptoms:

  • Craving - a strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
  • Impaired control - the inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
  • Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
  • Tolerance - the need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.


What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a complex illness characterised by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking, and use that persists. Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.


I think my child is using drugs, what are the signs?

Moody, lack of personal hygiene, lack of interest in everyday things, coming home late and change of friendship groups are all signs of possible drug use. However they could be just the signs of being a teenager. There are not any clear signs of drug use but look out for loss of appetite, red eyes, money regularly going missing and unusual equipment such as burnt foil, torn cigarette packets, cut up plastic bottles and homemade pipes.


What can I do to help my child?

Talk about the dangers - from health to safety. Observe and talk to your child if you are worried. Use every opportunity to discuss alcohol and drug use. Ensure that you are informed about alcohol and drug use and the effects.


What is the difference between drug use and drug misuse?

Drug use means the intake of a drug. Generally the term 'use' means the consumption of a drug that does not cause any immediate harm to a person although it may still carry some risks of harm. Drug misuse means the use of drugs that causes harm to a person's health or lifestyle leading to dependence (addiction) to drugs or which leads to problematic or harmful behaviour. Drug misuse is often linked to the use of more than one drug at the same time.


What is detoxification or "detox"?

Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal. It is often the first step in a drug treatment program and should be followed by treatment with a behavioral based therapy and/or a medication, if available. Detox alone with no follow-up is not treatment.


What is dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the route to treating people with mental health and problematic substance misuse issues. People diagnosed with mental health problems are often users of illicit drugs or alcohol. Through dual diagnosis we can assess the bigger picture, for example, your domestic situation, whether or not you have food and shelter, are there children involved, and so on.

Back to top ^