Preoccupation With The Behavior
A second aspect of addiction considers excessive thoughts about and desire to perform a behavior, excessive time spent to plan and engage in the behavior, and possibly recover from its effects , and less time spent on other activities , despite potentially diminishing appetitive effects . That is, the addictive behavior spills over into several dimensions of ones daily life. This may be labeled more generally as preoccupation. For example, a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker may report often thinking about smoking cigarettes , or thinking about anti-smoking control efforts, may invest a great deal of money to continue to purchase cigarettes, may have a cigarette in hand 280 minutes per day , and may report experiencing discomfort upon cessation of smoking for more than a couple of hours.
Interestingly, it is not known to what extent addictive desires operate on neurobiological processes differently from regular desires . However, addictive behavior-induced repetitive firing of certain brain systems does result in brain adaptations , suggestive of a hijacking of the brain due to engagement in any of a variety of substance or process addictive behaviors .
Belief : Addiction Stems From Mental Illness
Less than 15 percent of survey respondents, 58 individuals total, answered that addiction grows out of a pre-existing mental illness. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders can drastically alter someones mood, patterns of thinking, and behaviors, often rendering them unable to maintain their physical and psychological well-being.
Addiction doesnt always have roots in mental illnesses, but it often leads to the development of them. The debilitating weight of depression or anxiety can certainly drive someone to find an escape through drugs or alcohol, but any euphoric high they experience will likely be short-lived. As their mental illness worsens, someone may use drugs or drink alcohol in increasingly larger amounts to avoid their disorder a behavior that almost always ends in addiction.
It isnt always a mental illness that precedes addiction, however. Experimental or occasional drug use can quickly spiral into a substance use disorder. Addiction can alter all manner of internal thoughts and feelings, and someone who recently developed a substance use disorder may feel frustrated with themselves, and angry at their inability to stop. Continuing to use drugs or alcohol to quiet these difficult emotions only makes matters worse. As it progresses, addiction can slowly chip away at ones psychological health, to the point of them being left with a mental disorder thats just as debilitating as their physical addiction.
When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone that uses substances, even at social events, should consult with a doctor to ensure that it is not being abused and so that addiction can be prevented.
For a person already struggling with addiction, it may be hard for them to seek professional medical help. They might not be ready or they just dont feel the need to despite them already experiencing the negative effects of their addiction.
In cases where a person might experience a substance overdose due to substance use and drug abuse, it will be hard for them to seek professional medical help on their own. It is important that you help them seek the professional medical help that they need in this urgent time.
After their recovery from the overdose, they might want to seek help to get their addiction treated, so make sure to help them with that as well.
When you or someone you know is ready to get their addiction treated, they can contact a medical professional or a treatment center to look for different treatment options available to them. Some of these treatment options include therapy, detox, rehab, and medication.
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What Environmental Factors Increase The Risk Of Addiction
Environmental factors are those related to the family, school, and neighborhood. Factors that can increase a person’s risk include the following:
- Home and Family. The home environment, especially during childhood, is a very important factor. Parents or older family members who use drugs or misuse alcohol, or who break the law, can increase children’s risk of future drug problems.29
- Peer and School. Friends and other peers can have an increasingly strong influence during the teen years. Teens who use drugs can sway even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time. Struggling in school or having poor social skills can put a child at further risk for using or becoming addicted to drugs.30
Poor Coping Skills For Stress
Stress is an important risk factor in addiction. It is especially important in the transition from moderate drug use to dependent drug abuse.
Stress is a risk factor for a few reasons. First, the more stressed you are, the more you will want to escape or relax, and that is why people turn to drugs or alcohol. Second, when you are stressed, you tend to do what is familiar and wrong instead of what is new and right, therefore you are more likely to fall back to your old ways.
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To Deal With Emotions
Athletes with exercise addiction arent necessarily exercising more than athletes without exercise addiction, says Megan Kuikman, RD, a sports dietitian who has studied topics like relative energy deficiency in sport , a condition that occurs when an athlete doesnt get enough energy via food to support their activity level.
Its more about their relationship with exercise and how much its controlling their life. Weve actually noticed that recreational athletes have more of a problem even though theyre exercising less than athletes who are doing it for their job, Kuikman adds. Part of this could be a misunderstanding of training principles or not working with a coach, and thats not an addiction. But often, we see that recreational athletes are trying to control their emotions by exercising, rather than training according to a plan or based on improving in their sport.”
Why Do People Take Drugs
In general, people take drugs for a few reasons:
- To feel good. Drugs can produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used. For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the high is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opioids such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
- To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress, and depression start using drugs to try to feel less anxious. Stress can play a major role in starting and continuing drug use as well as relapse in patients recovering from addiction.
- To do better. Some people feel pressure to improve their focus in school or at work or their abilities in sports. This can play a role in trying or continuing to use drugs, such as prescription stimulants or cocaine.
- Curiosity and social pressure. In this respect, teens are particularly at risk because peer pressure can be very strong. Adolescence is a developmental period during which the presence of risk factors, such as peers who use drugs, may lead to substance use.
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What Biological Factors Increase Risk Of Addiction
Biological factors that can affect a person’s risk of addiction include their genes, stage of development, and even gender or ethnicity. Scientists estimate that genes, including the effects environmental factors have on a person’s gene expression, called epigenetics, account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person’s risk of addiction.27 Also, teens and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug use and addiction than others.28
Who Does Addiction Affect
Anyone can develop an addiction. However, certain risk factors make some people more likely than others to develop an addiction. These include things like:
- Genetics If your parents struggled with addiction, you are at a higher risk of experiencing addiction yourself.
- Mental health disorders Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can trigger substance use or compulsive behavior to try and cope with symptoms.
- Trauma Childhood abuse, witnessing a traumatic event, or living through continually negative circumstances can cause trauma. When someone experiences trauma, they are more likely to use substances or behave compulsively in an attempt to cope with their feelings.
- Poverty Addiction disproportionately affects people who make less money. Additionally, struggling with addiction can also cause financial strain.
Importantly, though, even people who dont have any of these risk factors can still develop an addiction.
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What Is Addiction Really
In The Recovery Village survey, respondents were asked about their personal addiction history. Some individuals were intimately familiar with addiction, but a smaller percentage never faced any sort of drug or alcohol use disorder. More than half of the respondents, almost 58 percent, either currently struggle with addiction or faced addiction in the past. While this demographic makes for an interesting mix of opinions, their collective responses shed light on a disappointing reality: few understand what addiction really is, even if they are in the throes of it.
Regardless of their substance abuse history, all participants were given statements regarding drug and alcohol addiction, and were asked to choose which statement they felt most accurately described substance addiction. The four statements with the most votes offer insight into the publics views of addiction, however, one answer in particular is the most accurate.
How Does Dependence On Alcohol Or Other Drugs Develop
First, you should understand that addiction doesn’t happen overnight. Dependence involves a progressive, complex process that takes place in an area of the brain known as the “reward center”the same place that regulates and reinforces natural rewards vital to our existence, such as food and sex. That is why the addicted brain pursues alcohol and other drugs as if these substances are needed for our very survival. And it’s why people with active addiction place the pursuit of alcohol or other drugs above almost any other priority.
Scientists have also identified a variety of social, psychological, genetic and other factors that make some people more vulnerable than others to developing drug addiction. What’s important to understand in all cases is that no one chooses to develop the disease. Two people may start out using alcohol or other drugs similarly, with one person’s use progressing into a substance use disorder while the other person doesn’t develop symptoms.
Keep in mind, too, that individuals who become addicted are never able to use alcohol or other addictive drugs without potentially imperiling their health. Their brain chemistry has changed in a way that can be brought back into balance through rehab, but that balance will always remain vulnerable to resumed use.
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The Definition Of Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the definition of addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. In other words, addiction is a disease that causes someone to compulsively seek out and use drugs, even though doing so is harmful. But what does that mean, exactly? And who does addiction affect?
If youre struggling with addiction, professional treatment can help you get sober and find relief. The Arbor Behavioral Health has addiction rehabilitation programs for those who need them. Our residential, intensive outpatient, and sober living programs give our clients the tools to get sober and build happier, healthier futures. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of addiction in yourself or a loved one is the first step toward getting sober. Dont put off getting help once you realize somethings wrong. Call to get started or for more information.
What Is The Simple Definition Of Addiction
An addiction is an imperative need to do something that is difficult to control or stop. If you use cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs such as marijuana , cocaine and heroin, you could become addicted to them. They can hurt you a lot and even kill you. Addiction is when the body or mind wants or needs something to work well.
When you have an addiction to something, it’s called being addicted or being addicted. People can be addicted to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and many other things. Addiction is the compulsive need and use of a substance that creates habit. It is accepted as mental illness in the diagnostic nomenclature and gives rise to important health, social and economic problems.
In the diagnostic nomenclature, addiction was originally included in personality disorders along with other behaviors considered deviant. But it is now considered a clinical syndrome. Addiction is determined multifactorially, with substantial genetic influence. The development of addictions is also influenced by environmental factors and by the interaction between the two.
You may end up changing your mind about the disease of addiction, but if you don’t, you’ll definitely come to a well-informed decision about what addiction is for you.
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Addiction Definition: What Is An Addiction
The idea that we may have an addiction is a difficult one to stomach. The same goes for people in your life who might be getting too deep into substance abuse.
Its troubling, at first, to accept the idea that we may have strayed too far down the wrong path. That said, its important to take an objective look at our behaviors and see how we can move forward with help if we need to.
Some Words And Catchphrases That May Help You Better Understand What Addiction Is
We have defined addiction as a disease, but it is so much more than a brain disorder. We asked some recovering addicts to define addiction for us. Here are some of the synonyms and phrases they offered, which may deepen your appreciation for what addiction truly is. Addiction is.
- A cunning enemy of life
- Powerlessness and unmanageability
- A battle through the darkness
- A struggle to find the light
- A break from reality
- A hopeless state of mind
- An affliction of the mind, body, and spirit
- A disorder of the mind, driven by obsession and compulsion
We hope these alternative definitions help clear things up a bit.
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Whats The Difference Between Hardworking Vs Work
Knowing the difference between a hard worker and a workaholic can be mind-boggling. But according to behavioral scientists, the distinction between the 2 hinges on behavioral and psychological factors.
Hardworking people may put extra time and effort into their jobs, but they can scale back or turn off their involvement at any time.
For instance, hardworking people may put extra time and effort into their jobs, but they can scale back or turn off their involvement at any time. Also, hardworking people reportedly are happier and more engaged on the job than workaholics.
Behavioral scientists say that what sets apart work addicts from hardworking employees is:
- Always being on. Workaholics are always thinking about the job. This keeps them from being able to switch off, even after hours.
- Driven by fear. They feel pressured to work excessive hours to prevent negative work-related consequences, such as getting fired or being scrutinized by their boss or colleagues.
- Plagued by anxiety. They have difficulty enjoying time away from work and often feel guilty or anxious about having lunch breaks and spending evenings, weekends, and holidays during off-work hours.
If these differences between workaholics and hardworking employees arent enough to help employers identify addicts, there are even more distinctions to consider.
Why Is Addiction Considered A Brain Disease
Scientific research has identified howbrain circuitry and brain chemistry are affected by long-term use of alcohol and other addictive substances. Simply put, sustained drug use alters brain function.Drug use increases the release of a powerful chemical called dopamine. Over time, if dopamine is routinely in abundance because of substance use, the brain attempts to balance things out by producing less dopamine. At that point, the brain relies on substances to trigger the release of dopamine. And that is when individuals start to use alcohol and other drugs just to feel “normal.”
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Do You Have An Addiction
The definition of addiction is a chronic brain disease that manifests itself as a dependency on a substance or behaviour.
This mental illness is characterised by engaging in compulsive behaviour, despite negative consequences, combined with preoccupation and cravings. However, it is important to try to understand what addiction is, because, without treatment, it can be highly detrimental to the mental and physical wellbeing of the person affected and those around them.
An addictive substance has the characteristics of being rewarding and reinforcing. Addiction itself combines both dependence and abuse. Substance abuse by itself does not necessarily mean addiction.
Dependence refers to being psychologically and/or physically dependent on a substance/behaviour and exhibiting withdrawal symptoms if the substance/behaviour is taken away. In the case of drug addiction, abuse can refer to misusing a substance, taking much more of it than recommended, or repeatedly engaging in the activity despite notable harm.
Addiction can be to a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, or a process/behaviour, such as gambling or sex.
All types of addictions affect a persons brain function and behaviour, taking control of their day-to-day life. Although addiction is a chronic mental illness, it is possible to recover from it.
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Do People Choose To Keep Using Drugs
The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. But with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. This impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.12 These changes help explain the compulsive nature of addiction.
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