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04 Sep

Alcohol dependency is much more common in men and can result in socially unacceptable behaviour such as excessive anger and aggression.

Alcohol brings down our mood, which can complicate other issues such as depression. It is possible to become dependent on 'over-the-counter' medication as well as illegal drugs.

It may at first seem harmless, then spiral out of control. As alcohol is socially acceptable, it often goes unnoticed that someone has developed a dependency to it for some time, particularly when there is pressure from peers making it hard to say 'no'.

Once the body becomes addicted to a drug, it can be extremely hard to stop.

Coming off drugs can be tough on your mind and body.

I met all sorts of people, from all over the world, older and younger, and each seemingly as desperate for a true connection as I. Should I be blaming my mother, or my – mostly absent – father for feeling that something was eternally missing? I was born to a woman that didn't much want children, and who fell foul to postnatal depression a good couple of decades before the term was even coined.

And for a while at least, it all felt harmless and innocent, and fun. My father leaving didn't help, and for the first six months of my life I was placed with a notional "auntie", a family friend who became my surrogate mother throughout my childhood.