Addiction Its not just genetics.

What is addiction?

Oxford Dictionary definition: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.

My definition: a recurring pattern or dependency on a substance or activity.

There are two types of addiction:

  • Behavior/Process related addiction meaning someone is drawn to behaviors that alter your mood or emotional state by creating euphoria. Examples include gambling, shopping, eating, gaming, etc...
  • Substance related meaning that their is a recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causing a significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

What are the symptoms? Why does it occur?

Symptoms:

There isn't much variation between these two categories, meaning they share similar tendencies such as:

  • An increase in the frequency or constant need to engage in the behavior. (Inability to stop these tendencies.)
  • Most of their time spent engaging in the behavior, arranging to engage in the behavior, or recovering from the effects.
  • Neglecting other obligations such as work, school or family so that you can engage in the behavior more often.
  • Intentionally isolating themselves so they can engage in the behavior without friends or family knowing about it despite the negative consequences.
  • Increased frequency of behavior causing them to become restless, irritable, hostile or anxious if they are unable to engage in the behavior.

How/why is addiction triggered?

  • Traumatic events during childhood via abuse or neglect.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Family history of addiction.
  • Environment in which the person lives.

The Cost of Addiction:

Addiction often times causes hardships for relationships or even destroys them completely. Besides the emotional trauma caused to the individual's afflicted with addiction and their love ones, it also causes unsafe environments, and substantial monetary debt in some cases.

Treatment

Is rehabilitation and interventions the best way to treat someone battling addiction?

Treatments for those suffering from addiction often consist of isolating an individual via a rehabilitation center or incarceration. Although these methods are perceived as affective, they are often times ineffective due to the fact that they do the same thing that usually causes people to turn to these habits-- a disconnect with people.

An alternative method that is still very invasive is intervention and group therapy. Although these methods are very intrusive on the individual's life, they connect them with other people that have been through similar circumstances and create a supportive environment, which is often times what they need.

Why did I choose this this topic?

Have a further interest in this topic? Check out the TEDTalk and citations below.

Credits:

Created with images by Markus Reinhardt - "Dependency II" • Kieran Clarke - "Addiction" • SaulXVera - "Gamble" • tinou bao - "shopping" • nosheep - "cash register drawer cash" • SilasCamargo - "hospital bed doctor" • rudamese - "relax relaxation hands"

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