Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Is Considered An Addiction

What Type Of Programs Are Offered To Treat Behavioral Addictions

Why is addiction considered a disease?

Many of the same programs that are effective in the treatment of dependence upon drugs or alcohol are effective in the treatment of behavioral addictions. An effective behavioral addictiontreatment program should offer all clients access to the resources they need. This may include any combination ofthe following:

  • Detox support: Some clients describe insomnia, feelings of agitation, panic, angry outbursts, headaches,and other withdrawal symptoms when they stop indulging in the addictive behavior. Therapeutic support through this transitionalperiod can assist the client in reaching stability in treatment and improve the capacity to focus on growth and healinggoing forward.
  • Diagnosis and evaluation: Just as with substance abuse and addiction, there are often co-occurring disordersat play that may be impacting the persons compulsivity and ability to remain abstinent in recovery. A thorough evaluationprocess can help to identify any co-occurring substance abuse issues and/or mental health disorders that may be contributingto, causing, or in any way impacting the persons experience with behavioral addictions.

Is Alcohol A Drug

One of the most common misconceptions is that alcohol is not a drug. Though legal, alcohol is a mind-altering substance. When taken in combination with other drugs, the effects can be deadly, but Origins has helped countless men and women overcome alcoholism and rebuild their lives through our proven treatment methods.

What Is An Addiction

Addictions, on the other hand, are much more powerful thanhabits. In these instances, for the most part, people will make sacrifices to theirlives out of an obligation to pursue a substance or practice.

Defining addiction is difficult, but the American Psychiatric Association provides a simple explanation for what brings on certain addictive behaviors. The organization wrote, People with addiction have an intense focus on using a certain substance, such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life. As a result, people who are addicted to something experience different modes of thinking and altered brain functions. People who exhibit addictive qualities are sometimes aware of their mental health problem yet continue to engage in risky, problematic behaviors.

Addictions dont have to be centered on consuming substances, though. Instead, as explored in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, certain behaviors can be just as addicting. The researchers stated that behaviorally addicted individuals have certain symptoms and will undergo the same consequences brought about by addiction to alcohol and drugs as well as other obsessive behaviors.

Recommended Reading: How To Fight Video Game Addiction

Addiction And Misuse Are Different But Both Cause Harm

Not everybody who uses/takes/does something to excess or inappropriately has an addiction. Addiction is the long-term inability to moderate or cease intake.

Misuse is different from addiction in that a person still has control over using/taking/doing something, but it can still have a harmful effect on their health, relationships and general wellbeing.

For example, someone who drinks alcohol heavily on a night out may experience both the euphoric and harmful effects of the substance. But that alone does not qualify as an addiction. It will not qualify as an addiction until the person feels the need to consume this amount of alcohol regularly, possibly alone, or at times during the day when the alcohol will likely impair regular activities, such as getting up in the morning and going to work.

A person who has not yet developed an addiction may be temporarily put off further use by harmful side effects. For example, vomiting or waking up with a hangover after drinking too much alcohol may put some people off drinking that amount anytime soon. Someone with an addiction will continue with the behaviour despite the harmful effects.

Both addiction and misuse cause harm.

Alcohol And Drug Relapse Triggers


Addiction triggers can stimulate the desire to use substances and make a person more likely to start using again. The triggers are often very powerful and can cause relapse, even if the patient thinks they have their addiction under control. Some of the most common drug and alcohol triggers include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol consumption: Alcohol can heighten the temptation to use drugs of abuse. Alcohol is a depressant, and when used in combination with other substances, it can have a strong effect on the brain. If a person with a substance use disorder begins to drink, it can heighten their desire to use other substances.
  • Stress: This is a significant trigger for some people recovering from a substance use disorder. If you see that someone is experiencing significant stress, its important to communicate that substance use is not a healthy way to cope with their feelings. Instead, encourage them to seek out a support system, as well as additional therapy or treatment.
  • Paraphernalia: Paraphernalia is the equipment that people use to enjoy their substance. People who are in recovery usually have to keep paraphernalia out of sight and avoid situations in which other people may be using.
  • People/Places: For some patients, their environment can trigger an urge to use. Being around people, places, and situations associated with substance use can make a patient more likely to relapse.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Being Addicted To Love

The Historical Development Of Substance Use Disorder Diagnoses

Before emergence of the official diagnostic nomenclature, a range of concepts were coined to describe the problematic use of substances: terms such as addiction, inebriety, intemperance, alcoholism, euphomania, and others . Many of them reflecting a view of addiction as a moral deficiency. Later, it was suggested that substance use disorders be subclassified into a subtype with physical dependence and a subtype without dependence .

In 1952 with the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , only one classification was possible for drugs and one for alcohol . These were listed under sociopathic personality deviance, a section that also contained antisocial behaviour and deviant sexuality. These behaviours were assumed to be dangerous to society, and generally, people who exhibited such behaviours were thought incapable of changing. The ICD-7, published in 1957, also used the term drug addiction, and subclassified alcoholism into three subcategories: chronic, acute and unspecified.

Types Of Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is a broad term that covers a range of behaviors and impulse-control problems involving internet, personal computer, and mobile technology. While there is yet no officially accepted criteria to diagnose an internet addiction, researchers have identified 5 subcategories of specific types of computer and internet addictions.

Cybersex Addiction

A cybersex addiction is one of the more self-explanatory internet addictions. It involves online pornography, adult websites, sexual fantasy/adult chat rooms, and XXX webcam services. An obsession with any of these services can be harmful to ones ability to form real-world sexual, romantic, or intimate relationships. Treatment options are available for those with cybersex addictions, typically in the form of intervention followed by ongoing inpatient or outpatient therapy.

Net Compulsions

Net compulsions concern interactive activities online that can be extremely harmful, such as online gambling, trading stocks, online auctions , and compulsive online shopping. These habits can have a detrimental impact on ones financial stability and disrupt job-related duties. Spending or losing excessive amounts of money can also cause stress in ones relationships. With instant and easy access to online casinos and stores, it is easy for those who are already susceptible to a gambling or spending addiction to get hooked online.

Cyber Relationship Addiction

Compulsive Information Seeking

Common Questions About Rehab

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The Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act is a law that regulates legal and illegal drugs in the United States. Under the CSA, drugs are categorized into different schedules according to a drugs perceived danger and potential for dependence. For example, Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug because of its illegal status and extremely addictive qualities. Legal medications on the other hand, such as over-the-counter Painkillers and cough Suppressants, are categorized as Schedule V because of their low chances for abuse.

The CSAs drug scheduling system exists for several reasons. In common cases, the system is used by judges to help them determine sentences for drug-related crimes. It is also helpful for medical professionals when writing prescriptions.

Break free from addiction.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alcoholism

What Is Considered An Alcoholic Relapse?

Alcohol addiction can be difficult to recognize. Unlike cocaine or heroin, alcohol is widely available and accepted in many cultures. Its often at the center of social situations and closely linked to celebrations and enjoyment.

Drinking is a part of life for many people. When is it common in society, it can be hard to tell the difference between someone who likes to have a few drinks now and then and someone with a real problem.

Some symptoms of alcohol addiction are:

  • increased quantity or frequency of use
  • high tolerance for alcohol, or lack of hangover symptoms
  • drinking at inappropriate times, such as first thing in the morning, or in places like church or work
  • wanting to be where alcohol is present and avoiding situations where there is none
  • changes in friendships someone with an alcohol addiction may choose friends who also drink heavily
  • avoiding contact with loved ones
  • hiding alcohol, or hiding while drinking
  • dependence on alcohol to function in everyday life
  • increased lethargy, depression, or other emotional issues
  • legal or professional problems such as an arrest or loss of a job

As an addiction tends to get worse over time, its important to look for early warning signs. If identified and treated early, someone with an alcohol addiction may be able to avoid major consequences of the disease.

Alcohol addiction can result in heart disease and liver disease. Both can be fatal. Alcoholism can also cause:

  • ulcers
  • increased risk of cancer
  • suppressed immune function

Also Check: When Your Spouse Is An Addict

Does Relapse To Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed

No. The chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing to drug use is not only possible but also likely. Relapse rates are similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses such as hypertension and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors. Lapses back to drug use indicate that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed. No single treatment is right for everyone, and treatment providers must choose an optimal treatment plan in consultation with the individual patient and should consider the patients unique history and circumstance.

What Is Masturbation Addiction

Masturbation itself is not a harmful activity and may be enjoyed by those in a relationship or those using it to compensate for a lack of sex with a partner.

However, for some people, the tendency to masturbate can grow to be excessive or compulsive, to the point that the behavior feels to have gotten out of control. In this case, the behavior is sometimes referred to as masturbation addiction.

Masturbation falls under the larger umbrella category of sexual addiction. This category includes types of addictive or compulsive behaviors such as sex addiction, masturbation addiction, or porn addiction.

Sexual addiction is also sometimes referred to as compulsive sexual behavior.

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Statistics Facts And Data

  • Gambling addiction may impact up to 2-3 percent of the American public. Its signs, symptoms, and impacts may vary across genders,age groups, and other populations. Men are more likely to develop a gambling problem and at an earlier age as comparedto women, but women make up about 25 percent of those living with a gambling addiction. Risk factors for the disorderinclude mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, mood disorders, and substance abuse disorders, especially cocaineand/or alcohol abuse or addiction.
  • Though similar in many ways, foodaddiction is different from binge eating disorder. Though both may result in obesity, people who struggle withfood addiction may also be of normal weight. The period between sessions of eating large amounts of food may be characterizedwith different eating behaviors among patients living with BED as compared to food addiction.

What Is The Best Treatment For Drug Addiction

What is Considered an Alcoholic?

Integrated treatment Is key to treating drug addiction. Integrated treatment is comprehensive programming that offers all the therapeutic resources necessary to help the individual heal physically, mentally, and spiritually.

There is no one cause of addiction, though living with a mental health disorder may increase the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder and vice versa. Everyone is different. In some cases, a mental health disorder predates the development of drug abuse. In other cases, mental health symptoms are not apparent until after addiction has taken hold sometimes, these conditions are exacerbated or worsened by drug use.

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Lower Highs And Lower Lows

Added to the fact that the addicted person develops a tolerance to the highrequiring more to try to achieve the same level of euphoriais the fact that the person does not develop a tolerance to the emotional low they feel afterward. Rather than return to “normal,” the person reverts to a deeper state of dysphoria.

When becoming addicted, the person increases the amount of drugs, alcohol, or the frequency of the addictive behaviors in an effort to get back to that initial euphoric state. But the person ends up experiencing a deeper and deeper low as the brain’s reward circuitry reacts to the cycle of intoxication and withdrawal.

Internet Addictions And Mental Illness

A 2016 research study found that those who were deemed as having an internet addiction had significantly more trouble dealing with their day-to-day activities. This included life at home, work/school-related duties, and their ability to socialize in the real world. Individuals with these types of addictions also exhibited significantly higher amounts of depression and anxiety symptoms.

There is debate over whether a computer, cell phone, or online addiction is the cause or consequence of such mental health issues. ADHD symptoms, such as difficulty planning ahead, poor time management, and higher-than-average levels of attentional impulsivity, are also common among those with an internet addiction. Additionally, those with an addiction are more likely to have a co-occurring disorder that requires special care and treatment.

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How Do Drugs Work In The Brain To Produce Pleasure

Nearly all addictive drugs directly or indirectly target the brains reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. When activated at normal levels, this system rewards our natural behaviors. Overstimulating the system with drugs, however, produces effects which strongly reinforce the behavior of drug use, teaching the person to repeat it.

No Longer A Function Of Choice

What Is Considered Zanax Abuse – 24/7 Helpline Call 1(800) 615-1067

To put it another way, the addicted person finds himself compelleddespite his own intentions to stopto repeat behaviors that are no longer rewarding to try to escape an overwhelming feeling of being ill at ease but find no relief.

According to ASAM, at this point addiction is no longer solely a function of choice. Consequently, the state of addiction is a miserable place to be, for the addict and for those around him.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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Signs Of A Substance Use Problem

When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you may have a problem with substance abuse include if you:

  • Lack interest in things you used to love
  • Change your friends a lot
  • Stop taking care of yourself
  • Spend more time alone than you used to
  • Eat more or less than normal
  • Sleep at odd hours

Quizzes And Self Diagnosis

Although quizzes and self-diagnosis may be useful toward indicating a problem, an actual diagnosis needs to be made by a trained professional. These individuals have undergone years of study and experience to assess for relevant factors while excluding irrelevant ones.

Currently, there are various quizzes and self-diagnosis tools available for exploring various problematic sexual behaviors and compulsions. These include sex addiction, pornography addiction, love addiction, fetishes, aggressive sexual acts, et cetera. These may provide some insight as to whether one has an issue. If there is an indication of an issue upon completing a quiz or self-diagnosis tool, the next step is to schedule an appointment with a professional.

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Common Types Of Therapies

Because masturbation addiction entails a combination of maladaptive beliefs that lead toward problematic thoughts and ultimately the undesired behavior, it is important to address each of these individually and in combination. Cognitive behavioral therapy does just that. For example, a common maladaptive belief is, I am an undesirable sexual partner.

The problematic corresponding thought may then be, Because others do not find me desirable, I must sexually gratify myself for pleasure. Its all Ill ever get. The behavior then ensues. By reframing how one sees oneself and engaging in various behavioral experiments, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors may ultimately change.

Stage : Dependency & Tolerance

Harmful Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

As the regular usage progresses, both physical and psychological reliance on the drug is developed. The brain stops releasing chemicals naturally, and instead relies on the outside substance to dictate the regulation. The body can stop functioning normally, resulting in needing more of the drug in order to regain homeostasis. Psychologically, the user may start finding that situations that were manageable, before, have become unbearable while sober.

Over time, tolerance for the drug becomes an issue, with the brain needing more and more of the substance in order to obtain a sense of normal function. After a person has developed a tolerance to the particular drug, they will find that stronger, or more frequent, doses are needed to obtain the relief that is being sought.

As a sub-category of this process, there are often increases in risk taking behaviors along the way. Once dependency and tolerance have taken hold, users may find themselves surprised at their own actions. Money intended for bills may start being funneled toward obtaining the substance. The user may find that he or she is associating with people that are not the safest choice for social interactions. Users may start justifying dangerous behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated, as necessary undertakings. Work obligations may be postponed or neglected, in favor of getting high, and relationships can begin to suffer from abuse and neglect.

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