What is Addiction? Addiction Explained

Many people suffer from addiction, whether it be from gambling, alcohol, or drugs. An addiction is defined as a chronic dysfunction within the brain system that consists of motivation, reward, and memory. It has to do with the way a person’s body craves a particular behavior or substance. Some people have an addiction that can lead to the obsessive or compulsive pursuit of a reward and can lack concern over any potential consequences.

Signs of Addiction

Some people that are struggling with an addiction may show signs including:

  • Not being able to stay away from the behavior or addiction substance
  • Show a lack of self-control
  • Lack an emotional response
  • Be dismissive over their behavior even if it is causing problems
  • Show an increased desire for a particular substance or behavior

Over a certain amount of time, addictions can have a serious impact on your daily life. People that are struggling with addiction are more prone to continuous cycles of relapse and remission. This simply means that a person may go through cycles of intense and mild use. Despite these cycles, addictions will normally get worse over time which can result in serious health issues and even serious financial problems.

This is why it is imperative for those who are experiencing addiction to seek help. You can read more about how treatment, both inpatient and outpatient, can help you or your loved one struggling with addiction.

Types of Addiction

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans suffer from an addiction to both drugs and alcohol. Of those who are suffering from a drug addiction, more than two-thirds abuse alcohol as well. The most common drug addictions include:

  • Nicotine which is found in tobacco
  • THC which is found in marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opioid/narcotics, or pain relievers

There are also certain substances that can trigger addiction or behavior including:

  • Food
  • Technology
  • Work
  • Sex
  • Caffeine or coffee
  • Anger when used as a coping strategy
  • Gambling

There are certain social behaviors or habits that may appear as addiction. But in these cases, a person will normally react negatively if they do not get their “reward.” For instance, a person that is addicted to coffee or caffeine can experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and extreme headaches.

Complications of Addiction

If addiction is not treated, it can lead to long-term consequences later down the line. These consequences may include:

  • Health issues such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and neurological damage
  • Social issues such as damaged relationships and jail
  • Emotional and psychological issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Economic issues such as debt and bankruptcy

Depending on the substance a person is abusing or the behavior a person is addicted to, the effect’s on a person’s health may differ. Serious complications can result in social situations or health concerns that may result at the end of life.

Treating Addiction

It doesn’t matter the type of addiction a person is suffering from. They are all treatable. The best course of action is comprehensive, since addiction can have an impact on many areas of a person’s life. Treatments will focus on helping the person stop seeking and engaging in their addiction habits.

Common therapies for treating addiction include:

  • Medications for mental problems such as schizophrenia or depression
  • Psychotherapy such as group therapies, talk, and behavioral
  • Medical services that can help treat extreme addiction complications including detox and withdrawal
  • Case manager for addiction to assist in coordinating and checking treatment
  • Inpatient addiction programs
  • Support groups and self-help

It is also possible to visit your primary physician to receive an evaluation. The type of treatment that your doctor may recommend depends on the stage and severity of a person’s addiction. For example, if a person is in the early stages of addiction, their doctor may recommend therapy and medication. Should you wish to have online consultations, please feel free to reach out to an online suboxone clinic, especially for people suffering opioid addiction.

About the author


Kim Lee lives in Tampa, Florida and focuses on living an intentionally happy life, helping others live better, and having a whole lot of fun. She loves to write, read, enjoy the outdoors, and play with dogs.

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