An Addict Is Very Likely To Become Abusive
Its tragic that an addicts blame can even take a violent and abusive form. With the delusional thinking common to most addicts, he can perceive those around him as being threatening, dangerous or malicious. As he shifts the blame, he may physically, mentally or emotionally attack those he blames.
The spouse of an addict very often bears the brunt of both the blame and the abuse. Its hard to do anything right. He or she is not supportive. Mental and emotional abuse may be directed at the spouse to completely shut down any ability to effectively fight the real problemthe addiction. Its very common for spouses and significant others to be browbeaten into submission, often for years.
Of course, physical violence is a very real possibility, especially toward spouses, children, elderly parentsparticularly those people who cant fight back.
It doesnt matter what drug a person is addicted tothe need to get and use the drug is a compulsion. If it were not bigger and more powerful at this moment than his own will, he would not be addicted, he would stop using drugs and begin to fix his life.
Signs You Have A Behavioral Addiction
Understanding the addictive process and the danger signs can help you to tell the difference between addictive behavior, problematic behavior that’s not an addiction, and normal behavior that’s non-problematic or healthy.
Red flags include:
- Spending the majority of your time engaging in the behavior, thinking about or arranging to engage in the behavior, or recovering from the effects
- Becoming dependent on the behavior as a way to cope with emotions and to feel normal
- Continuing despite physical and/or mental harm
- Having trouble cutting back despite wanting to stop
- Neglecting work, school, or family to engage in the behavior more often
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when trying to stop
- Minimizing or hiding the extent of the problem
Money Comes And Goes Quickly
Not only is a drug and alcohol addiction time consuming, it also is financially consuming. Perhaps one of the most common behaviors of addicted people is the fact they are constantly asking for money. Any money they earn gets allocated to acquiring more drugs and they dont have anything left to buy food, pay bills and generally take care of themselves. When an addict runs out of cash and cannot get extra funds from family or friends, they will often resort to selling or pawning things of valuewhether it is their own property or others property in order to get the money they need.
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Learn More About Addiction
How addicts behave in relationships can pose a real struggle for a sober partner. Addiction can have a wide range of effects on someones behavior that can cause serious tension between partners. The effects can vary in severity from person to person, but if you have an addict in your life or someone you think might be struggling with substance abuse, its crucial to keep an eye out for concerning changes in their behavior. While its important to remember that addiction is a disease and not a choice, its also critical to maintain healthy boundaries while your loved one is using. Addiction is a challenging thing to help someone overcome alone, which is why we are here to help. At Oregon Trail Recovery, we can provide your partner with all of the resources they need to heal and overcome their addiction. Theyll have access to solid, supportive communities and services to help them recover with the close oversight and assistance of professionals.
The Disconnected Cautious Trait
According to the Scientific American article, the bold, risk-taker type who develops addiction is more likely to be male. On the other hand, cautious people who have difficulty with social relationships and who at the same time may suffer from depression, anxiety, or both can also develop addiction these personality types are more often women.
Considering the self-medication idea mentioned above, people with these personality traits may be more likely to try to manage symptoms of anxiety or painful feelings of loneliness, disconnection, and depression by using alcohol or drugs that dull those feelings. This may then lead to the person becoming dependent on the substance to feel good in general, which in turn can lead to tolerance and addiction.
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Most Common Addict Behavior
Addict behavior is a specific thinking style that enables someone struggling with addiction to continue using substances despite negative consequences. The Journal of Neuroscience reported findings suggesting there may be a cognitive difference in people who suffer from addiction and that their brains may not fully process long-term consequences. Research also indicates that those suffering from addiction show more impulsivity in the brain demonstrated by neural activity.1 We learn in drug and alcohol rehab that impulsivity and the inability to process long-term consequences, found in thinking patterns of addict behavior lead to distrust in relationships and isolation, which continue the cycle of addiction. Addictive thinking patterns may also be an early warning sign of a potential relapse.2
Behavioral Versus Physical Addiction
While there is debate on how society should treat people suffering from addiction, there is no doubt that physical addiction is a thing experienced by thousands of Americans. Behavioral addictions, however, are another thing entirely.
Also known as non-substance addictions or addictive behaviors, there are certain actions out there that people have found to be addictive. These can include:
The idea behind these is that someone feels the symptoms of addiction, but not to a substance. Rather, an action or set of actions that creates some calming feelings, or even euphoria, in the user.
Gambling addiction is the only non-substance addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, . However, even the validity of that ruling is debated by some medical professionals, and other addictions that are commonly claimed, like sex and shopping addiction, have not been recognized at all. The reason that so many question these addictions is because they dont see them as biological addictions. They see them as a mental diagnosis. Gambling addiction is the perfect example of how behavioral addictions impact people.
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Common Features Of Behavioral Addictions: Relationship To Substance Use Disorders
The essential feature of behavioral addictions is the failure to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others . Each behavioral addiction is characterized by a recurrent pattern of behavior that has this essential feature within a specific domain. The repetitive engagement in these behaviors ultimately interferes with functioning in other domains. In this respect, the behavioral addictions resemble substance use disorders. Individuals with substance addictions report difficulties in resisting the urge to drink or use drugs.
Behavioral and substance addictions have many similarities in natural history, phenomenology, and adverse consequences. Both have onset in adolescence and young adulthood and higher rates in these age groups than among older adults . Both have natural histories that may exhibit chronic, relapsing patterns, but with many people recovering on their own without formal treatment .
As in substance use disorders, financial and marital problems are common in behavioral addictions. Individuals with behavioral addictions, like those with substance addictions, will frequently commit illegal acts, such as theft, embezzlement, and writing bad checks, to either fund their addictive behavior or cope with the consequences of the behavior .
Treatment Programs For Behavioral Addiction
Behavioral addiction treatment and rehabilitation presents a challenge in many cases because, unlike treatment for drugs or alcohol, abstinence can be impossible. For example, a person who is addicted to overeating cannot cut food out of their life. For this reason, some types of behavioral addiction treatment programs focus primarily on rehabilitation and recovery rather than detoxification or abstinence.
Several different types of behavioral addiction treatment facilities are available, including state-funded, nonprofit, and privately owned rehabilitation facilities. All facilities, no matter how they are funded, must comply with patient privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 .3
The decision about which type of treatment facility to choose depends on whether you plan to use health insurance, where you are located, where you want to complete your treatment, and what sort of addiction you are working to overcome. Some treatment facilities specialize in one particular kind of addiction , while others offer various programs or an all-inclusive program to treat people with a variety of different addiction struggles. You can also choose from inpatient and outpatient programs, or a sequential combination of both.
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They Are Impulsive And Take Risks
The use of drugs and alcohol lowers a persons inhibitions, and an obvious byproduct of this lack of inhibition is the addict engaging in behaviors that put themselves and others at risk. Whether it is driving at unsafe speeds, engaging in risky sexual behavior, jumping off of cliffs or other similar behaviors, acting impulsively can be seen as producing a rush or high much like drugs and alcohol.
Binge Eating Disorder: Food Addiction
For years, Americans have argued over whether food obsessions can actually be food addictions or whether this “disorder” is more of an excuse. In truth, binge eating disorder is a real problem that affects about 3 percent of adults in the United States. Symptoms include eating to ease emotions, overdoing it on food while alone, and feeling guilty after the binge. The cause of eating disorders is not known, but it is probably linked more to depression than addiction.
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How Pinnacle Can Help
One of the most effective ways to beat addiction is to start recovery at an addiction treatment center. Pinnacle Treatment Center is a comprehensive program that addresses the root causes of addiction and how to overcome it. Pinnacle provides intensive therapy along with lectures and exercises for life skills and relapse prevention. Patients will be involved in group therapy sessions as well as 12-step groups like NA and AA. Pinnacle will even help manage aftercare planning to ensure their patients remain on the right path after treatment. A well-rounded program like this is the best way to start recovery today and take control of your life. Call us today at 1-866-301-0573.
Traits Of People With High Risk Of Developing Addiction
Nevertheless, there are traits that can be recognized in people who have a higher risk of becoming addicted to psychoactive substances rather than just being able to moderate behavior around these types of substances. People with this higher addiction risk include those who are:
- Related to others who have developed addiction
- Experiencing other mental health disorders
- Adventurous and risk-taking
A more thorough discussion of each of these traits is explored below.
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What Is Behavioral Addiction
Behavioral addictions include overeating, compulsive television watching, internet addiction, and gaming addiction. There are two types of behavioral addiction: passive or active. Television addiction is passive, while gaming is considered active. It is different than drug or alcohol addiction in that it is not a substance the person is addicted to but is rather addicted to a behavior or a feeling induced by the action. Furthermore, the physical signs of drug or alcohol addiction are not present in behavioral addiction. Still, those who suffer from behavioral addictions have specific symptoms and experience the same consequences as those with drug or alcohol addictions.
Addicts Will Become Distant
You may notice that things dont feel right anymore and they dont seem like the same person they used to be. Typical addict behavior in relationships involves neglecting all of their relationships and only spending time with the people who share their addiction. Their sleeping and eating habits will change dramatically and they will often blame it on something else. One of the reasons addicts in relationships can be so distant and emotionally unavailable is because theyre trying to maintain their relationship with their substance of choice, giving it priority over their relationship with you. Their addiction takes precedence over every other relationship they have because they have literally become dependent on their substances.
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Neurological Characteristics Of Behavioural And Substance Use Disorders
While some substances are physically addictive and have particular chemical effects of their own upon the brain and body, the foundation of most substance addictions and, presumably, behavioural addictions is to be found in your brains reward centre. Amongst other biomolecular mechanisms, the brain produces the chemical dopamine which stimulates certain receptors and creates a feeling of desire to repeat a given behaviour .
When the brain has learnt to anticipate and experience them, dopamine production can be stimulated by engaging in specific behaviours, including the consumption of addictive substances as well as activities such as those described above. This reward system leads to pleasurable sensations when a behaviour is engaged in, as well as to unpleasant sensations if you go too long without repeating the behaviour in question due to the absence of dopamine and other chemicals.
Over time, the brain can develop a tolerance to certain levels of dopamine, meaning that you will need to consume greater quantities of a substance or engage in increasingly intense behaviour in order to experience the same high. On the other hand, a prolonged period of time without engaging in these behaviours can normalise the brain, suppressing potentially permanently the addiction.
Looking At Gambling As A Behavioral Addiction
After the 5th edition of the DSM included gambling addiction, it became widely accepted as the first behavioral addiction. It is the only non-substance related addiction to be accepted under the category in the DSM-5, which is widely regarded as the official ruling on what is and what is not a diagnosis. Why is it accepted?
Studies have shown that gambling activates similar parts of the brain as other drugs, like alcohol. These parts of the brain are responsible for our reward functions. This is what gives our bodies dopamine after we do some healthy behavior, like exercise or eating a good meal. Certain drugs are capable of activating these parts of the brain to release up to ten times the normal amount of dopamine. Over time, our brains produce less and less, and we would need more of that substance in order to get the same effect.
This is building a tolerance and the first step to a budding addiction. Just like people can build a tolerance to drugs they can build a tolerance to gambling. Building a tolerance means they have to bet more and more to get the same rush. This is how so many people who have a compulsion to gamble lose so much money.
How Addiction Affects The Brain
Addictions mental effects lead someone to act erratically. The most straightforward reason behind this is that drugs and alcohol destroy the brain. When under the influence, a persons brain is flooded with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that exists in the parts of the brain that control movement, motivation, human emotion, and feelings of pleasure.
After consuming drugs or alcohol, a person experiences moments of extreme pleasure and happiness, but when the same feelings of euphoria face away, the person is left craving more drugs and alcohol to replicate that same moment of joy. As the desire to be in a state of euphoria grows stronger, the victim falls further and further into the clutches of addiction. Unfortunately, a persons chase of that initial high they felt slowly, but surely, develops into a vicious cycle of substance abuse.
Over time, constant abuse alters critical brain activity and encourages the brain to prioritize the addiction over other essential tasks. Because the brain is preoccupied with drugs or alcohol, someone struggling with addiction goes through drastic changes in their personality and behavior. Often, people suffering from addiction turn into a completely different person altogether.
Psychology Of Breaking Addiction
Examining the psychology of addiction provides clues for the psychology of breaking addiction. When someone knows why theyre engaging in a destructive pattern of behavior, they can take steps to change their actions.
The general pattern found in the psychology of addiction is:
|Trigger. An external action or an internal thought triggers strong feelings.|
|Avoidance. To avoid these feelings, the addict needs their substance or behavior of choice.|
|Substitution. Rather than deal with the unpleasant feelings, the addict engages in the compulsion or addiction to substitute positive feelings for the negative ones.|
|Repetition. Behaviors repeating along this pattern are addictive.|
Its hard to understand breaking psychological addiction unless you comprehend that the act of drinking, drugging or indulging in a compulsive behavior begins days, hours or even minutes before the actual binge. Psychological addiction is triggered by circumstances. These circumstances then lead to avoidance and substitution. If you can figure out when you are triggered, you can break the psychology of addiction by substituting positive behaviors or confronting the unpleasant situation, rather than avoiding it.
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Signs Symptoms & Behaviors Of Heroin Addicts
Nobody ever intends to become addicted to heroin. Instead, it happens incidentally as a person recreationally uses the drug. In fact, most individuals who suffer from heroin addiction dont even realize theyve become addicted until they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms between doses. But as heroin addiction causes profound changes in a person, it can be quite difficult for loved ones to witness an individuals deterioration as a result of heroin addiction.
Although theres no way to cure someones heroin addiction, there are surely ways to tell that he or she is struggling with a heroin problem. Many of the signs and behavioral cues of heroin addiction are easy to spot if you know where to look. If you have a loved one who may be suffering from heroin addiction, use the following signs, symptoms, and behaviors of heroin addiction to determine whether a drug problem is present.