Potential Benefits Of Transdiagnostic Treatment For Addictions
Similar to transdiagnostic treatments for other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety , a transdiagnostic treatment approach to addictive disorders would have several benefits compared to the current treatment model of targeting specific addictions. First, treatment would be more efficient. This is because both behavioral and substance addictions are highly co-morbid with one another. For instance, gambling disorder frequently co-occurs with substance use disorders, with point prevalence rates of 58% for any substance use disorder . Similarly, previous research has found that substance use disorders co-occur up to 38% with internet use disorder, 46% with compulsive buying, and 64% with sex addiction . Additionally, in a large representative sample of Canadian adults, 40% of participants who reported experiencing problems with an addictive behavior in the past 12 months, reported problems with two or more substance or behavioral addictions, with high co-occurrence of both substance and behavioral addictions in individuals .
Binge Eating Disorder/food Addiction
Binge eating disorder and food addiction are when a person becomes addicted to the chemical reactions that occur after consuming highly palatable foods . Food activates the same reward center as drugs do, which is why some may use it in an attempt to self-medicate for other disorders like depression.
What Should I Do If I Experience A Relapse
If you experience a relapse, it is not time to give up. It is time to recommit yourself to your treatment plan and seek help from your therapist or support group. Relapse is common, but it does not mean that you cannot overcome your addiction.
Support groups can also be helpful in overcoming addiction. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can share your experiences and learn from others who are also struggling with addiction.
Finally, it is important to develop healthy coping mechanisms. This may include exercise, relaxation techniques, or positive self-talk. When you have healthy coping mechanisms in place, you will be less likely.
Are there alternative ways to overcome addictive behavior?
There are alternative ways to overcome addictive behavior. One approach is to seek professional help. There are a variety of different therapies that can help you overcome addiction, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and 12-step programs.
Therapies can help you understand the root cause of your addiction and how to overcome it. Motivational interviewing helps you develop the motivation to change your behavior. 12-step programs provide support and guidance as you work to overcome addiction. Support groups can also be helpful in overcoming addiction. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can share your experiences and learn from others who are also struggling with addiction.
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Significant Changes In Appearance
Many forms of addiction can affect a persons physical appearance, especially drug or alcohol abuse and food addiction. Depending on the type of addiction, some signs include significant changes in weight, unusually bad personal hygiene, needle marks or sores, bloodshot eyes or dark circles under the eyes, and a drastic change in clothing style.
Changing Addiction Behaviors And How Treatment Helps
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Our Addictions Content Team has been providing up to date information on substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders for over a decade. Each piece of content is reviewed by our team of medical experts, consisting of doctors, registered nurses, and licensed therapists, as well as by our editorial staff.
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Addicts become very adept in their abilities to obtain and use drugs. They learn who they can challenge through deception or manipulation to get the money or resources to use along with when, where, and how are the best options to be able to score drugs and use them.
Guiding the behaviors are complex interplays of biological, environmental, and social influences that either serve to protect from or to increase risk vulnerabilities and addiction severities.
According to the University of Delaware, Drugs disrupt the careful modulation of feelings and motivations that underlie normal behavior.
Without appropriate treatment and support, most addicts will rearrange their lives in support of daily intoxications and the avoidance of withdrawals and will never experience a recovery that allows them to live a healthy, self-directed, productive, and satisfying lifestyle.
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How Are Medications And Devices Used In Drug Addiction Treatment
Medications and devices can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself “treatment,” but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications . In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse prevention. Patients can use medications to help re-establish normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for treatment of opioid , tobacco , and alcohol addiction. Scientists are developing other medications to treat stimulant and cannabis addiction. People who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use.
How Common Are Behavioral Addictions
Although research on the prevalence of behavioral addictions is limited, evidence suggests that behavioral addictions are fairly common.
What research shows:
- Some studies suggest that compulsive or excessive internet use affects an estimated six to 14 percent of people who use the internet.
- Up to six percent of adults have a clinical gambling problem, according to the World Health Organization .
- Internet gambling, or online gambling, is especially common among young and college-aged adults, who may be at higher risk for compulsive gambling habits.
- Compulsive sexual behaviors , or sex addiction, reportedly affects an estimated three to six percent of the U.S. adult population.
- About five percent of adults report compulsive shopping or buying behaviors.
- An estimated 34 to 71 percent of adults with compulsive sexual behaviors develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives.
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What Are Treatments For Drug Addiction
There are many options that have been successful in treating drug addiction, including:
- behavioral counseling
- medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training
- evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options can be crucial to success. Treatment should include both medical and mental health services as needed. Follow-up care may include community- or family-based recovery support systems.
Changes In Mood Or Energy Level
An addiction is an emotional roller coaster, and people suffering from addiction often exhibit frequent and severe mood swings and changes in energy level. One minute, they might be happy and energetic, and the next, theyre suddenly depressed and lethargic. They may also show feelings of confusion, paranoia, or aggression, and they may become antsy, irritable, or even violent. People with addictions may sleep excessively or not sleep at all for an extended period. They may also have drastic changes in appetite, ranging from extreme hunger to a lack of desire for food altogether.
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Treatment For Behavioral Addiction
Treatment for behavioral addictions may involve one or more of the following.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This type of psychotherapy is used for addiction to help a person understand and change the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Identifying false beliefs and triggers and coming up with alternative, healthier behaviors as a way of coping with feelings are central to the process.
- Group therapy: Group therapy for behavioral addictions offers peer support that helps a person feel less alone and connected to a community. There are 12-step recovery groups for addictions like shopping and non-12-step groups including Shopping Addiction Support Group which has nearly 39,000 virtual members. Twelve-step groups for behavioral addictions like gambling have been as successful as 12-step groups for substance use disorders.
- Medications: There are no approved medications for treating specific behavioral addictions, but some research suggests SSRI antidepressants may have some benefits for addressing addictive behaviors.
- Other treatments: Other methods, including couples or family counseling, may be additionally helpful to address and resolve problems contributing to or enabling certain behaviors. You may also consider talking to your healthcare provider about the potential benefits of lifestyle changes for behavioral addiction.
Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new treatment method.
Behavioral And Substance Addictions: Two Sides Of The Same Coin
The past several decades have seen a remarkable growth in the research of behavioral addictions . Similarly to gambling and internet gaming, empirical research has examined other compulsive behaviors which have been postulated as behavioral addictions. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: compulsive buying, sex addiction, binge eating, work addiction, exercise addiction, and smartphone addiction . The overlapping feature common to all behavioral addictions is the failure to resist an impulse or urge, leading to persistent engagement in the behavior despite recurring harms .
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What Are The Signs Of Addictive Behavior
The signs of addictive behavior can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive time on the Internet
Which Demographic is Affected Most by Addictive Behavior?
The demographics most affected by addictive behavior are typically people who are struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. People who have a family history of addiction are also more likely to struggle with addiction themselves.
There Is Hope For Recovery
While controlling compulsions can seem impossible, there are several options for recovery. The first step is to acknowledge the challenges behavioral addictions can cause, along with the need for help. This can help one to take control of their life. There is support available after taking the first step toward recovery. Contact a treatment provider today and start your journey.
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: December 2, 2021
David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors , David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.
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Understanding Addiction & The Pleasure Center Of The Brain
Addiction changes the chemistry in the brain. It does this by interfering with how the brain sends and receives signals. When a person takes a drug or becomes addicted to a behavior, the brain releases chemical rewards at a much higher rate than normal. Over time, the brain comes to expect this level of reward and triggers cravings to encourage another fix.
A lot of daily activities activate the reward response. For example, normal occasions such as eating or socializing produce a reward in the brain that encourages the person to enjoy and repeat these activities. When drugs or obsessive behaviors are at play, the reward is amplified. This excessive chemical release introduces the brain to larger rewards and an increased desire to repeat these addictive behaviors.
Types Of Behavioral Addictions
When you think about addiction, you might automatically associate the term with substance abuse. But performing certain behaviors can have a similar euphoric effect on your brain as drugs or alcohol.Doing something that makes you momentarily happy can flood your brains reward center with dopamine, also known as the pleasure chemical. This can give you a short-lived high. A behavioral addiction develops when you continually perform that behavior to chase that high, even if the rest of your life is falling apart.Some common behavioral addictions include:
- TV and Internet
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Neurobiologic Mechanisms Of Addiction
-Nicotine binds stereoselectively tonicotinic cholinergic receptors in the brain, as well as in the autonomic ganglia, the adrenal medulla, and neuromuscular junctions. Most relevant to nicotine addiction are the receptors found throughout the brain, with the greatest number in the cortex, thalamus, and interpeduncular nucleus. There is also substantial binding in the amygdala, septum, brainstem motor nuclei, and locus coeruleus. The nAChR is a ligand-gated ion channel composed of five subunits. Most brain nAChRs are composed of – and -subunits. Usually, there are two – and three -subunits, with the -subunits responsible for ligand binding and the -subunits mediating other aspects of receptor function.14 Nicotinic receptors in the brain have different chemical conductances for sodium and calcium and sensitivity to nicotinic agonists. Brain imaging studies in smokers have confirmed that smoking causes the upregulation of high-affinity nAChRs, which is maintained for up to 4 weeks after cessation of nicotine exposure.1517
Jesse J. Di Cello, … Daniel P. Poole, in, 2022
All For One Or One For All Toward A Transdiagnostic Treatment Of Addictions
The aforementioned theories have all alluded to the potential treatment implications of viewing addictive behaviors as a common underlying disorder. Yet, a unified transdiagnostic treatment model for addictive disorders has not emerged. In contrast, the trend over the past number of decades in the development of evidence-based treatments for addictive disorders as well as other mental health disorders has been the development of single diagnosis protocols. Indeed, disorder-specific protocols are readily available for both substance and behavioral addictions . That said, the diversity in treatment programs are likely the result of responding to the needs of clients, whereas the training of clinicians likely impacts the management of different disorders.
To summarize, there exists a considerable overlap between behavioral and substance addictions, including in psychological processes that may be targeted in treatment. In this light, we present a developing transdiagnostic treatment model for addictions that takes advantage of the underlying commonalities that have been shown to be amiable to change across both behavioral and substance use addictions.
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Are Behavioral Addictions Recognized
As they are not outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , behavioral addictions are not classified and cannot be medically diagnosed, except for gambling disorder, which has diagnostic criteria for addiction. This is likely to change when the DSM is updated, given the strong push from medical professionals and public opinion.
Increase In Legal Issues
Seriously addicted people will do almost anything to get the object of their addiction. Sometimes, that can even include illegal behavior, such as assault or stealing. If you notice that someone seems to have a lot of run-ins with the law, it could be an indication of an addiction. Some of the most common legal charges include drug possession, DUI, public intoxication, fraud, writing bad checks, theft, and domestic or other violence.
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Opioid Receptors And Their Endogenous Ligands
The opioid system is most commonly known for controlling pain, reward and addictive behaviors, but it also modulates several essential physiological processes including respiratory and GI function. Opioids exert their biological actions through the activation of three main opioid receptor subtypes: MOR, delta and kappa . The precursor molecules pro-opiomelanocortin, pro-enkephalin and pro-dynorphin are proteolytically cleaved, generating the three classes of biologically active opioid peptides: endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins, respectively. The endogenous peptides derived from these precursors all have the N-terminal tetrapeptide sequence Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe and activate the different opioid receptor subtypes with varying affinities: endorphins have similar affinity for MOR and DOR, enkephalins have a slightly higher affinity for DOR and dynorphins have higher affinity for KOR .
Upon prolonged or repeated agonist exposure, GPCRs undergo phosphorylation by G protein-coupled receptor kinases , which increases the affinity of the receptor for the scaffold protein beta arrestin . Beta arrestins block further interaction of the receptor with the G protein, resulting in termination of its signaling in a process known as receptor desensitization. In addition, beta arrestins promote receptor internalization by interacting with the cellular trafficking machinery and can also act as molecular scaffolds to support noncanonical, G protein-independent signaling .
Can I Avoid Developing An Addiction
You can reduce your risk of developing an addiction by making certain choices. To reduce your risks, you should:
- Avoid illegal drugs: Never take illegal drugs, and always follow your providers orders for prescription drug use.
- Know your family history: If you have a family history of substance use disorders, you may be more vulnerable. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to lower your risk.
- Seek counseling: If you have a mental health disorder or history of trauma or abuse, talk to your provider about therapy. An experienced therapist can help you manage emotions and stress in a healthy way which will reduce your chances of developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and drugs for coping.
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