My Addiction...

My Addiction has four components measured by four separate scales: dependence, psychological wellbeing, social satisfaction, and substance use. Note that change in dependence and substance use occurs quickly, psychological distress reduces more slowly, and improvement in social satisfaction may continue for many months and years.

Dependence is scored 0-30. It is the element of addiction that most clearly separates people in the general population and those with an addiction. Interestingly people who have, or are getting over, an addiction problem have scores across the whole range of dependence indicating varying degrees of recovery and in some cases a persistence of dependence after other aspects of addiction have resolved.

Psychological distress is scored 0-40. It is both a powerful trigger to substance use and a consequence of dependence and addiction related problems. Scores less than 10 are considered normal whereas scores above 20, which is more than half of all help seekers, are considered to indicate significant distress levels which in some cases will amount to a mental illness.


Social satisfaction is scored 0-24. Satisfaction, or otherwise, with social circumstances is something experienced across the whole population and so the separation between the general population and people with addiction problems is less marked than for the other two scales. Interestlngly those who are seeking help for their addiction still express satisfaction with most aspects of their life.