Addiction – What Is It?
When someone mentions the term ‘addiction’ what are your first thoughts? Most people automatically associate the word with highly addictive substances such as heroin and alcohol. Whilst these cause common and particularly dangerous types of addiction, they are certainly not the only forms of the condition. Addictions to some commonplace behaviors can often go unnoticed – Internet and smart phone addictions are good examples. The commonplace nature of some habits, when combined with the complexity of addiction as a mental health disorder, means that professional addiction therapy is almost always recommended for addicts who are looking to quit.
Addictions to substances such as alcohol, nicotine or heroin are physical addictions. Physical addictions develop in response to biological dependencies that arise when an addict consumes the addictive substance on a frequent basis. The addict’s body becomes so used to the drug that when consumption stops, serious withdrawal symptoms may occur.
A behavioral addiction, on the other hand, is primarily defined by an incessant drive to pursue an addictive behavior and is not determined by a biological dependency. Behavioral addictions often develop in response to activities that are carried out as a part of an addict’s everyday life, including browsing the Internet, using a smart phone or engaging in a sexual intercourse.
Regardless of the specific subtype, addictions are characterized by a person’s inability to control the usage, taking or doing of a particular drug/product or behavior.
Some of the characteristics that both substance and behavioral addicts share include the lack of control over their actions, a compulsive mindset and continuing with a behavior or consumption of a substance despite the often severely negative consequences. All of these are influenced by certain environmental triggers that an addict experiences throughout his or her daily life.
Managing the response to these triggers is important and addiction therapy is particularly effective at providing the addict with the tools which will allow him or her to do so. If an addict is freed from a physical dependency and is equipped with the mental tools and techniques to recognize and deal with the environmental addiction triggers, he or she will be much better prepared to permanently overcome the addiction.
Here at Thriveworks Athens, our expert counselors work with our clients on a one-on-one basis to provide them with the tools to ensure a lasting treatment. Why not reach out to us now to book your first addiction therapy session.