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Don’t let addiction get in the way of your mental health. We’re here to support you in recovering, even if you’re not a Bupa customer.

What is addiction?

Addictions usually start out as enjoyable habits – like a smoke or a drink with friends, a flutter at the races, or taking drugs to relax. But if you’re no longer in control of your habit, or it becomes harmful, that’s an addiction. You may find you need more of something to get the same effect, whether that’s gambling, alcohol, drugs or nicotine. Some people are especially prone to addiction, too.

Addiction can have a lasting negative effect on your mental health. For example, the abuse of some drugs can lead to developing schizophrenia, paranoia or psychosis.

Listen to our podcast: Exploring your relationship with alcohol

In this 12-minute podcast, a Bupa colleague talks openly about how alcohol stripped him of absolutely everything. He’s followed by two of our experts who discuss finding the motivation to cut down on drinking.

How can you support a loved one through addiction?

Addiction rarely gets better on its own. People need help and support to kick their habit. If your friend, colleague or family member is struggling with an addiction, there are ways we can help.

You don’t need to be a Bupa customer to use all the information and advice we provide here. You might also find Helping someone else with their mental health useful.

Mind, the mental health charity, has a list of specialist organisations that help with addiction and dependency.






Our tips for coping with addiction


What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is when you need to have a drink to keep going. You can’t control how much or how often you drink, and you may not realise at first that it’s becoming a problem − or you may be in denial. Unfortunately, alcohol addiction can cause a range of mental health problems. This article looks at some symptoms of alcohol addiction and its treatments.

Talking therapies for mental health

It’s important to get treatment for addiction, and admitting and exploring its effect on your life can be a good place to start. There are many different types of talking therapy, so even if counselling isn’t for you then there are other options you could try.

Can CBT help to treat addiction?

There are psychological and pharmacological interventions for all addictions, whist a pharmacological approach is usually considered in the early stages of treatment, psychological approaches such as CBT may be appropriate.

CBT teaches you to recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think and behave. It also shows you how to challenge and change those patterns.

Support for addiction from Bupa’s experts

Our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me, is where you’ll find a range of help in coping with addiction.

If you’re in a crisis or just need some help, don’t hesitate. Here are some really helpful organisations that you can turn to for support.

  • Samaritans

  • Mind

  • YoungMinds

  • Mental Health Foundation

  • Rethink Mental Illness

Mental health support as part of Bupa health insurance

^We may record or monitor our calls.

To support addictions we fund one addiction treatment programme per membership lifetime. To support chronic mental health conditions (conditions which recur) we have removed restrictions on cover from June 2019. If you joined Bupa, or renewed your policy, before June 2019, there will be still be restrictions on chronic mental health cover until your next renewal. Please call us if you would like to discuss the benefit limits on your policy.

††Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under the policy. If your cover excludes conditions you had before your policy started, we’ll ask you to provide evidence from your GP that your symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from policy start date (or up to five years in the case of mental health). We can then refer you to a consultant or therapist through the Direct Access service. Always call us first to check your eligibility.

Action on Addiction. Addiction widespread in society with more than half of Britons knowing a victim, new poll finds. https://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/news/latest-news/yougov-poll, published 10 June 2019.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.

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