In simple words, addiction is defined as persistent repetitive behavior characterized by the obsessive seeking of drugs or other things no matter how negative the consequences might be. Addiction to substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs may cause long-term changes in the brain. There are many types of addictions and it is a combination of psychological and physiological problems.
Addiction is a biopsychosocial condition regarded as repetitive engagement in behavior such as lying, stealing, alcohol or drug use, gambling, shopping, etc. Regardless of the damage, it can cause to one’s self or to others, the person does not stop the behavior. Addiction is a primary disease, which has an impact on the brain and it is a collection of addiction symptoms and signs. Precisely, it influences the area of the brain that deals with reward, motivation, and memory. Addiction changes the way in which the body responds to a stimulus or reward. Also, it includes an obsessive habit to strive for those rewards.
The origin of the addiction is due to social, biological, psychosocial, and genetic factors. Research has shown that there are neurochemical changes involved in the brain of people with addictive behaviors and abiogenetic tendency also is also present. This disease is curable with proper addiction treatment.
Most Common Behavioral Addiction Factors
You know you are addicted when you find yourself involved in repetitive behavior. There are many causes of behavioral addiction. Someone can be affected by several of them at the same time. Possible causes of addiction are below:
⦁ Relief of stress
⦁ To relax
⦁ Family history of addiction
⦁ Early use of drugs
⦁ To relieve pain
⦁ Increased energy
⦁ Neglect, abuse, or other traumatic experiences in childhood
⦁ Pressure from peers
⦁ Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
⦁ To escape the reality
⦁ For sake of recreation/pleasure
⦁ To boost self-esteem
The 5 c’s of addiction:
⦁ Loss of control
⦁ Use despite its negative consequences
What are the different types of addiction?
There are different types of addictions. These different addiction types are often categorized as either drug addictions or behavioral addictions.
Behavioral Addictions: These are obsessive in nature. Behavioral addictions at times come out suddenly and when it is least predictable.
Types of Behavioral Addiction Facts:
⦁ Gambling addiction facts
⦁ Food addiction facts
⦁ Shopping addiction facts
⦁ Exercise addiction facts
⦁ Gaming addiction facts
⦁ Sex and love addiction facts
⦁ Pornography addiction facts
⦁ Social media addiction facts
⦁ The habit of doing something useless/insane repetitively e.g. nail-biting, making paper balls, smelling other people, playing with hair, and chewing gum all the time.
Substance addiction: Substance addiction usually includes using a substance for the sake of satisfaction:
⦁ Recreational drugs addiction which involves drug abuse (i.e. using opiates, hallucinogens, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, inhalants, etc.) and using these drugs reduces the level of stress for the time being by making you feel light and euphoric.
⦁ Prescription drug addiction which is referred as using a prescription medication in a manner other than that your doctor has prescribed (i.e. using over the counter drugs such as multi vitamins and pain killers for no reason).
⦁ Alcohol addiction
⦁ Use of different substances for physical and sexual pleasure.
What are the effects of addiction?
There are different addiction effects that can be categorized as pleasing such as satisfaction, pleasure, and stress reduction etc. The negative effects of addiction involve causing you distress, your family distress, and others around you distress. Some of the problems addictions cause are financial, loss of productivity, waste of time, impairment in physical and mental health, and reduced quality of life.
Drug addiction can lead to criminal behavior, increased violence, nausea, reduced appetite, confusion, obsession, abuse and neglect of children, sleep issues, anxiety, dependence on non-familial support systems for survival, and expenses for treatment.
What are the common signs of addiction?
⦁ Relationship issues
⦁ Sleep disturbances
⦁ Decline in work performance
⦁ Abusive behavior
⦁ Criminal record
⦁ Weight loss
⦁ Weight gain
⦁ Body aches
High-Risk Addiction Facts
⦁ Family history of addiction:
40-60% of addicts have a family history of addiction, genetics play a major role in addictive behaviors.
⦁ Family Life:
If a child grows up in a poor family environment, is neglected, or traumatized it increases their chances to become an addict.
⦁ School life and friends:
Friendships can impact on your addiction risk.
⦁ Early consumption of Drugs:
The earlier you use a drug, the more likely you are to develop an addiction.
The manner in which you absorb and process chemicals can determine the impact a drug will have on your body and the sensation it causes.
High levels of stress may increase your risk of turning to addictive behavior as a way to reduce stress.
⦁ The mode of delivery:
The way in which you take a drug can impact the development of your addiction. For example, injecting substances and smoking means that the brain receives their influence in a matter of seconds.
⦁ The nature of addictive substance:
Some drugs such as nicotine or heroin affect receptors in your brain that can trigger addictive responses.
How to identify your addictive behaviors:
Sudden changes in your behavior can be indicative of addiction, some of the common behavioral changes are
⦁ Poor work performance
⦁ Secretive behaviors
⦁ Impulsive behavior
⦁ Unexplained anxiety
⦁ Lack of motivation
When to seek help:
We all have addictions but it is not always worrisome if your addiction is not dangerous in nature and is under control. If your addiction is out of control and/or causing serious problems, you should get help. The sooner you get addiction treatment, the better your chances for a long lasting recovery. Talk to your health care or mental health specialist if:
⦁ You can’t stop using a drug, drinking, gambling, etc.
⦁ You continue to practice addictive behavior despite of the harm it causes.
⦁ Your addiction has led to an unsafe behaviors (e.g., using needles or having unprotected sex).
⦁ You are having withdrawal symptoms after stopping.
⦁ You have overdosed.
⦁ You have trouble breathing
⦁ You are having seizures
⦁ You have concentration issues
⦁ You have physiological ailments, the behavior is causing financial stress, interfering with relationships, or causing day to day dysfunction.
How can you prevent addiction?
Addictive behavior can be prevented by
⦁ Awareness of harmful effects of addictive behaviors
⦁ Strengthened support systems
⦁ Psychological counselling
⦁ Practicing self-care
⦁ Staying close to family and friends
⦁ Spending time in positive activities
⦁ Learning about healthy comping skills
Treatment of addiction:
Addiction is a complex but curable problem. Here are some treatments for addictions:
⦁ Behavioral / Psychological counselling.
⦁ Medical attention to treat the symptoms of alcohol or drug withdrawal.
⦁ Treatment and assessment for psychological issues arising at the same time such as anxiety and depression.
⦁ Long-term continuation of treatment to prevent re-occurrence.
⦁ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can support you to understand your negative thoughts and provide you means to fight against the addiction.
⦁ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and self help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Sex Anonymous, etc.