Types of Addiction
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Addiction is a very complex condition – one that affects you both physically and mentally. Most people believe that addictions are only caused by substances, but there are multiple other types of addiction out there. So, it is important to determine your addiction so that you may get the right kind of help.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is the impossibility of stopping a certain activity or behavior. In most cases, it involves the use of substances such as narcotics, tobacco, alcohol, and others. That being said, there are other types of addiction as well, which deal with human behavior. Examples of these addictions can be gambling, playing video games, shopping – even porn.
Addiction is associated with a compulsion, craving, or an inability to stop an activity to the point where it affects your lifestyle. These addictions are broken down into two main categories: physical and behavioral. Very often, these two go hand in hand.
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Physical addiction is the most common type of addiction, caused by substances that we ingest or put in our own bodies. This can be anything from alcohol to tobacco, cocaine, or opioids addictions. A person with a physical addiction will continue to use a substance to avoid the feeling of withdrawal.
Many people confuse physical addiction with “misuse.” However, a person that misuses a substance does not necessarily have a substance addiction. Addiction happens when the individual suffers chronic symptoms of the substance – both when entering and exiting the body.
Behavioral addiction is the inability to remain in control over your own actions in favor of engaging in the addictive behavior. The addict continuously engages in the activity in order to feel a brief feeling of happiness. It is classified as an addiction once the behavior is repeated continuously and in a compulsive manner, despite the fact that it disrupts the daily lifestyle of the individual.
Very often, physical and behavioral addictions are linked. Take nicotine addiction, for example. In many cases, people manage to quit smoking enough for the nicotine to get out of their system. However, the behavior of lighting a cigarette remains, especially when the person has been a smoker for many years. Kicking the substance out can be easy – but kicking the behavior may be more difficult.
Signs of Addiction
Addictions, whether they are physical or behavioral, have certain signs. Seeing those signs is how you will be able to help yourself or someone with an addiction. Here are the main signs of potential addiction:
- Spending a significant amount of time undergoing a certain habit or activity
- Using the activity in order to get rid of potentially unwanted emotions
- Expressing the urge to engage in the behavior, even if it negatively affects their lifestyle
- Lying about their behavior or hiding the fact that they spend time on it altogether
- Difficulty when it comes to resisting the urge to engage in the activity
- Anxiety, irritability, restlessness, depression, or other potential withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
- The compulsion to continue with the activity, even if they end up feeling distressed because of it
- “Stashing” the addictive substance so that they never run out of it
- Tolerance, appearing later on in the addiction and causing them to engage more and more in the substance or behavior
Other signs may appear as well, depending on the individual with the addiction. Some people may experience sudden mood changes. Others will have weight fluctuations. Some will have more physical symptoms, such as the pupils appearing much smaller or larger than they usually do. In these cases, if you notice these symptoms in a loved one, then you might want to help them as soon as possible.
How To Quit an Addiction
Once it has become clear that there is an addiction involved, the next thing one should do is to put a stop to it. For most serious addictions, the following tips may not work. Legitimate addiction treatment centers exists for a reason. Nevertheless, here is what needs to be done to quit an addiction:
Admit There's a Problem
The first step to quitting is admitting that there is a problem. Many people fail to quit their addiction, saying “it’s not an addiction; I can quit any time.” This makes it harder for them to kick the addiction out because they fail to see that they are dealing with an addiction.
Try To Stop Gradually
Some decide to quit “cold turkey,” like ripping off the band-aid. While this might work for small substance addictions, it won’t work if you’ve been an addict for a long time. In this case, it is recommended that the substance is removed gradually from the body, by lowering the dosage with time. This will prevent the chances of a relapse.
Set a Quit Date
Setting a quit date might turn out to be very helpful for some people. For example, let’s say that you have a special event coming up, such as an anniversary or a birthday. You might set a plan to quit gradually, lowering the dosage until you quit for good on your birthday.
When you are doing nothing, it’s very easy to fall prey to the urge. However, when you are keeping yourself busy, you may just forget about it enough that the urge passes. Be it exercising or talking to a family member, find something to keep you busy.
Find Your Triggers
Certain things such as places, emotions, people, or issues might cause you to want to engage in the activity. For instance, an alcoholic passing by their favorite bar may have a hard time resisting the urge to go in for a drink. Find out what your triggers are so that you may create a plan to avoid them.
How Real Deal Can Help
If you or your loved ones are dealing with an addiction, rehabilitation can help with the process. Whether the person needs inpatient or outpatient care, Real Deal can help determine the problem and arrange for the best course of action in order to get rid of the addiction for good.
Sober living focuses on the cause of the addiction, not just the symptoms – and Real Deal can help you in that matter. Contact us right now for help!