In 1999 I worked with a group of men looking to offer younger men in trouble the chance to find a way in to a better life. This led to the founding of the charity abandofbrothers (ABoB) in 2008. This ground-breaking organisation offers a new way to address issues arising from mental ill health, crime and addiction.
Despite what the game developers might claim, Candy Crush etc are basically games of luck where it's impossible to predict when you're going to win, and you're permitted to win just often enough to keep you coming back. The exact same theory applies to the matches provided by dating websites, pies at the football and late night kebabs.
Caffeine addiction is something from which more people 'suffer' than would probably care to admit, because really we don't see it as an addiction. Nicotine dependence gives you cancer and emphysema; alcoholism gives you liver disease and driving bans; meth could result in a face different to the one you were born with.
When I speak to people about my sobriety, they imagine either that I am fighting a constant battle against temptation or that I no longer have any thoughts about drinking at all. The reality is somewhere in between. The best way to describe it is through the metaphor of something most of us can relate to - a relationship with an ex-partner, from the initial meet, to the aftermath of the break-up.
Google will provide an answer to pretty much anything, but I'm afraid there are some things that Google just can't help us with. Google can't tell you what you should be doing with your life, or reassure you that you made the right decision yesterday. So, in our fragile, digitally reliant states, we worry. And more and more of us are worrying more of the time.
If you are going to black-out at 10pm, why not just go home? What's the difference between leaving a party early, and drinking to oblivion early? Either way you are intentionally checking out and not being there anymore. The only difference really is feeling the pressure of expectation. Of being other people's chimp. Performing for drinks and approval.
Our single stated aim when it came to curing the world of smoking was to effectively put ourselves out of business - by curing all the smokers in the world. To really achieve our aim we do need governments to engage with us. With one eye on their treasury coffers one wonders whether there's a government out there genuinely interested in eradicating addiction.