Imagine yourself in a state of euphoria after eating a good meal from your favorite restaurant. Imagine the taste of it, the ambiance, and the life inside that restaurant. Now, we all know that the first time can never be replicated ever again, and you go back to that restaurant time and time again to replicate that moment. But instead of experiencing that moment, you only have bits and pieces of it. However, you continue to go back to that restaurant regardless of the expenses because of your desire. This is an example of addiction and how it can affect your life entirely.
Many Americans are addicted to many things in life, whether drugs, gaming, or gambling. It’s estimated that one in ten Americans are addicted to a particular substance. If gaming and gambling are added to the equation, that ratio will be much higher. And because of this addiction, their lives are slowly deteriorating.
This article will discuss the nature of addiction and some treatments surrounding it. Hopefully, it’ll help you understand the nature of addiction much better.
Table of Contents
What is Addiction?
Addiction is defined as the compulsive need for a substance or activity with elements of tolerance and withdrawal that can deteriorate a person’s life. In other words, it’s the inability to stop using a particular substance even though it’s harming you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It doesn’t matter what the addiction is. It’ll permanently harm your life. And that’s because addiction changes the way your brain works. It changes the neural pathways and how information is processed. In short, it changes how you think and behave.
There are many types of addiction, but the most common ones are:
- Alcohol Addiction
- Drug Addiction
- Gambling Addiction
- Gaming Addiction
- Food Addiction
- Sex Addiction
- Shopping Addiction
Alcohol and drug addiction are some of the most common types of addiction. It’s estimated that around 14 million Americans suffer from alcohol addiction, and about 21 million suffer from drug addiction.
Gambling, gaming, and shopping addiction are also quite common. It’s estimated that millions of Americans suffer from gambling addiction, and about 6 million suffer from gaming addiction.
There are two factors for addiction. The first is tolerance.
Tolerance is when you need more and more of the substance to get the same effect. For example, if you’re addicted to alcohol, you’ll need to drink more and more overtime to get drunk.
The second factor is withdrawal.
Withdrawal is when you experience adverse symptoms when trying to stop using the substance. For example, if you’re addicted to alcohol, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, shaking, and vomiting when you try to stop drinking.
The symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal can be so severe that it’s hard for people to quit on their own. Many people need professional help to detox and get through these symptoms.
There are many psychological explanations for the nature of addiction, but one of the most prevalent is the cognitive theory of addiction.
Cognitive Theory of Addiction
The cognitive theory of addiction states that addiction is caused by how we think about the substance. In other words, it’s people’s thoughts and beliefs about the substance that leads to addiction.
For example, if you believe that the substance is going to make you feel good, then you’re more likely to become addicted to it. However, the theory goes much deeper than that, explaining that the substance or activity is the reward while the thoughts and beliefs are the cues that trigger the addiction.
This theory is supported by many studies that show how people’s thoughts and beliefs about a substance can lead to addiction. This is why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is such a standard treatment option for addiction.
Treatments for Addiction
There are many treatments for addiction, but the most common ones are:
Detoxification is the process of getting rid of the substance in your body. This is usually done in a hospital or rehab center, where medical professionals can monitor you. It’s important to detox under medical supervision because withdrawal symptoms can be very severe.
Psychological interventions are common for people who have an addiction. It will eventually lead them to rehabilitation, where they will be treated for addiction. Family interventions are also important to the recovery of the patient and their loved ones. Some drug, alcohol, and porn rehab facilities offer services like these. It can help rebuild the family and solve the problem of addiction. It can even make the lives of everyone involved much better.
Therapy is another standard addiction treatment. It can be done in an outpatient or inpatient setting, depending on the severity of the addiction. The most common therapy is CBT. Many rehabilitation sites use this kind of treatment. It can help addicted people back on track and reimagine themselves more realistically than what they perceive.
Medication is sometimes used to treat addiction. For example, Antabuse is a medication used to treat alcohol addiction. It causes unpleasant side effects when you drink alcohol, which helps deter people from drinking.
Addiction is a complex problem that many different factors can cause. Thankfully, it’s treatable, and there are many other options available. Reach out for help if you’re suffering from addiction. Many resources are available, and professional service can make all the difference.