Addiction is a primary, chronic, progressive disease that has its roots in genetics, brain chemistry and attachment. An addiction involves the compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite the existence of negative consequences. People can develop an addiction to a wide variety of psychoactive substances and behaviors, with drug rehab centers often specializing in particular types of addiction and treatment methods. Common behavioral addictions include sex addiction, gambling addiction, food addiction, internet addiction, exercise addiction and many others. Common substance addictions include alcohol addiction, marijuana addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, and addiction to prescription opiates and sedatives. While certain behaviors and psychoactive substances may seem to share nothing on the surface, all addictions involve intrinsically rewarding and positively reinforcing behavior patterns that become normalized over time. A range of treatment methods can be used to tackle addiction issues, including medication therapy, psychotherapy, counseling, and relapse prevention systems.
A significant number of people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, suffer from a form of behavioral disorder or addiction. These types of addictions can range from a sex and porn to compulsive acts of shopping or gambling. Behavior addictions are commonly characterized by acting out particular behaviors in order to achieve a reward. The desired reward will either express itself in a manner of pleasurable feelings or act as an escape from certain battles or tension that the person is facing internally. The person continues to repeat this behavior in order to maintain these feeling of reward. This act is commonly referred to as ‘recurrent behavior,’ and it has the ability to completely rob the person of all control over it, regardless of any negative outcomes or adverse consequences that stem from it.
Drug and alcohol addiction share many comparable aspects to behavior disorders, in that they both involve a person looking to gain a reward or alleviation via use of a substance or by acting out a particular behavior. Behavioral disorders that are paired with a chemical dependency is disorder known as “dual diagnosis.” Oftentimes, when an individual has a behavioral disorder or an addiction, he or she may be anxious or on edge. In order to relieve these stressful feelings in exchange for a sense of pleasure, the individual will act out the specific behavior. As the person continues to engage in these patterns on recurrent behavior, he or she will become more fixated on the behavior and less interested in engaging in previously enjoy activities, personal relationships, and work.
Being unable to refrain from using the substance or acting out the specific behavior;
Loss of control over behavior
Increased or unending cravings to use the substance or engage in the activity that provides reward
Reduction in perception of problems occurring with personal relationships or one’s own behavior
Lack of emotional response
Lying and manipulating
Engage in Criminal Activity
Place Blame On Others
Attempts to hide the degree of their problem
Depressed, anti-social, and anxious
In the past several decades, a prevalent topic among researchers has been the common correlation between drug or alcohol addiction and behavioral addictions. There have been many findings that indicate a number of possibilities for these simultaneously occurring addiction, some of which many include:
Drug abuse may eventually lead to a mental illness or behavior disorder.
Behavioral disorders can cause an individual to abuse drug or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate. Self-medicating is a method for temporarily alleviating symptoms of a behavioral or mental illness and is highly ill-advised.
There are many types of addiction treatment models, however two of the most popular options include 12-step and Cognitive Behavioral Treatment programs. Each rehab clinic has its own system for their 12-steps, but they almost always involve a heavy dose of spirituality and personal responsibility. Some of the steps may include having to admit to being overpowered by the substance, making lists and amendments to those harmed by the addict’s behavior, and then relying on a spiritual awakening to aid in the cleansing of mind, soul, and body.
The “SMART Toolbox” is a collection of various methods, called tools, which help people work through the 4-Points:
If someone you love is exhibiting addictive behaviors or traits of an addiction, to not overlook these signs. Addiction treatment and behavioral addiction treatment is available for those who are in need, and can help make the lifelong positive change he or she needs. There are several different treatment options and therapies that exist and that can be tailored to meet the needs of every individual. Recovery is possible, and if you or someone you love needs help overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol and/or a behavioral addiction, pick up the phone and speak with an addiction specialist today.
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