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Addictions Management

Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and relapse-prone illness that affects a person both physically and psychologically. A person can become addicted to either substances (e.g. drugs, alcohol) or to certain activities (e.g. gambling, sex, the internet).

It is characterised by the following:

  • The person continues the addictive behaviour despite the consequences
  • The frequency or intensity of the behaviour increases over time
  • When the behaviour is stopped, the person experiences unpleasant feelings and emotions

Signs and Symptoms

Signs of a possible gambling problem:

  • Gambles more often
  • Gamble for longer periods of time
  • Gambles with larger amounts of money
  • Incurs debts as a result of gambling
  • Borrows money to gamble
  • Gambles in spite of negative consequences, e.g. huge losses, poor job performance, relationship problems
  • Gambles to escape from emotional problems, worries or frustrations
  • Tells lies to hide/understate their gambling behaviour


Signs of a possible alcohol problem:

  • Loses control over drinking
  • Feels that drinking is getting out of hand and feels the need to cut down
  • Feels annoyed when others criticise his drinking
  • Has cravings to drink in the morning, or needs alcohol to steady his nerves
  • Feels remorseful or guilty about drinking


Signs of a possible drug problem:

  • Preoccupied with finding and consuming drugs
  • Finds excuses to continue using drugs, despite promises to quit
  • Conceals drug-taking behaviour, and is afraid of being discovered
  • Has health and sleep problems
  • Has frequent accidents and falls
  • Feels exhausted and depressed because of the drug use

To find out more about signs and symptoms of the various types of addictions, please visit the NAMS website at http://www.nams.sg. Click here to watch video on addictions management.

Specialised Programme

The National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) provides treatment for behavioural and substance addictions.


A multidisciplinary team at the Specialist Outpatient Clinic C provides comprehensive assessments, treatment planning, counselling and case management, relapse-prevention training, and psycho-education for patients and their families. Patients who require inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation are treated at the Serenity Centre at IMH.  

To make an appointment to see a doctor or for alcohol and drug-related problems, please call our All Addictions Helpline at 6-RECOVER (6-7326837), between 8am and 11pm.

For gambling-related problems, please call the National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-6668-668 or communicate with our paracounsellors on gambling issues in real-time via web chat service available from 8am – 11pm.  


The user's internet or mobile device connection may affect the connectivity speed of the web-chat service. If you experience a lag in your connection, you may call the Helpline at 1800-6-668-668 to speak to our counsellors.


For information on problem gambling, casino exclusions and visit limits, please visit www.ncpg.org.sg or email us at admin@ncpg.org.sg. Alternatively, you may “Ask Jamie@MSF”.  

Note: If you need urgent assistance after our operating hours, please call the Mental Health Helpline at 6389 2222.  

Related Brochures

Managing AddictionsGambling Addiction ServiceGambling Addiction ChineseCRESTFRESH Serenity CentreGambling Addiction  




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