We tend to think about addiction as a single, all-encompassing issue. In reality, it’s much more complex, and there are actually a couple of distinct categories to consider, as well as myriad subdivisions of each.
To help you understand this often controversial topic a little more, let’s look at the main examples of addiction, explore what they involve, and provide some guidance on how to get help if you’re struggling.
Addiction To Substances
The best-known and most culturally conspicuous of the bunch, substance addiction is when you become dependent on drugs. This covers everything from illegal narcotics to over the counter medication and also products containing alcohol and tobacco.
Typically this is described as either a physical addiction, meaning your body needs the substance to function normally, or a psychologically addiction, meaning that you rely on the substance to cope with stress or other emotions.
Signs of addiction include needing more of a drug to feel its effects, withdrawal symptoms if it’s not used regularly, and cravings for it when not using it.
If you are struggling with an addiction to substances like drugs or alcohol, then seeking professional help is important.
Treatment options typically involve detox programs and visits to addicts treatment centers like Allendale Treatment in order to stop using the addictive substance, followed by therapy sessions which will help identify why the dependence has formed in order for long-term recovery goals can be achieved.
Addiction To Specific Behaviors
Behavioral addictions occur when someone becomes dependent on specific activities rather than substances, and can have similar negative implications as its physical counterpart if left untreated.
Examples of behavioral addictions include gambling, video gaming, eating disorders, shopping compulsions and even sex addiction.
These activities produce feelings of pleasure associated with reward centers in the brain being stimulated, thus creating a cycle where more engagement is needed for the same dopamine rush, creating a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out of.
Seeking Help With Addiction
If you feel trapped in any kind of addiction, whether related to substance abuse or a dependence on particular behaviors, then know that there are options for you out there.
Here’s a few points should keep mind before deciding how to proceed:
- Identify the type of addiction problem you’re faced with, whether chemical or behavioral in nature
- Research various options available based upon personal preferences, budgetary constraints and past experiences of what works for you, where relevant
- Reach out to trusted family members and friends to establish a support group, and share your problem rather than locking it away out of misplaced shame
- Find specialists who understand the challenges you’re faced with, and can put together a plan of action for overcoming them
- Set realistic goals & time frames for your recovery, and try to stick to them wherever possible
- Be prepared for setbacks, and accept that you won’t be able to kick any habit overnight
In the modern world, it’s easy to get caught up in addictive spirals, whether brought about by substances that are widely available, or because of certain behaviors that are possible thanks to technology, society or even evolutionary impulses.
Rather than seeing addiction as an escape from our problems, it’s better to frame this as a major conundrum in its own right, and one which is better dealt with head-on.
Admitting to yourself that you need help is tough, so be gentle with your own psyche in this situation. Things will get easier with every step you take towards recovery, regardless of how painful it might be at first.
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