Different Faces of Addiction

Millions of people in the United States are addicted to some kind of chemical substance or some kind of action that triggers chemicals in the brain’s reward center. Most of those addicts have multiple addictions, in fact. Addiction is a disease that affects the brain’s pleasure center, keeping the addict coming back for more of what feels good. When the person addicted to the substance or action engages in the brain releases chemicals like dopamine or endorphins that reinforces the action taken. A person acquires an addiction, often, in avoidance of stress, anxiety, or other complicated mental health issues like dealing with trauma. Drug and alcohol addiction are the most common type but there are many other kinds of addiction. Here are some of the most common.

Drug and alcohol addiction

Drugs and alcohol are substances that people become addicted to by consuming them in various ways depending on the chemical. Some drugs are snorted, injected, eaten or taken in pill form, some of them are liquids someone drinks or patches on the skin. These substances often break down and attach themselves to the reward center in the brain giving the user an incentive to use again.

As mentioned above this is by far the most commonly discussed kind of addiction as it can be morbidly devastating, resulting in over seventy thousand deaths in the United States last year alone. Treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is usually conducted at a drug and rehab facility. To detox, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol should seek out medically supervised alcohol detox or drug detox as trying detoxification on one’s own can lead to any number of medical complications or even emergency. Withdrawal symptoms vary by substance.

Shopping addiction

Consumerism is rampant in this day and age. But a shopping addiction is less about consumerism and materialism and more about a psychological imperative. People who are addicted to shopping sometimes pass it off as “retail therapy” but it is far from therapy.

In fact, compulsive shopping is a real addiction with real world consequences that can affect the individual with the disease as well as their family and friends. Shopping addiction is often something done in secret and can create rifts in family relationships including between spouses as well as children and parents. If someone is addicted to shopping they find some amount of catharsis and stress relief in the action, though in the end it can be an addition to their stress via the guilt or shame they feel in retrospect.

Food Addiction

Overeating is a psychological issue, not an personal failing. Our society forgets sometimes that if someone is addicted to food, that addiction is a disease like any other. If someone is addicted to food they find catharsis or comfort in the consumption of food and often consume it in binges.

Usually people who have a food addiction are overweight but some people who are addicted to food are within a healthy appearing weight in spite of the disorder. This kind of addiction is very often the result of trauma and should be treated through mental health rehabilitation with a therapist. There are twelve step programs like Overeaters Anonymous that provide a group setting for someone to go and deal safely with their addiction.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction has been around forever. Like having an addiction to shopping, a compulsive gambling addiction can be devastating to your financial stability. People with this addiction become enthralled by the idea of a big win. When they lose, they then become obsessed with chasing their losses, or winning back whatever they have lost.

The devastating truth is that this is highly unlikely to ever happen for them. You can seek help for a compulsive gambling addiction through our gambling addiction treatment services at FHE Health.

 

Exercise Addiction

Because exercise is so encouraged in our society it is hard to imagine anyone exercising to the point of it being unhealthy but unfortunately it happens every day. But if you think about why it feels good to exercise it becomes obvious that the activity could very easily turn into an addiction.

Exercise releases chemicals in the brain, endorphins and adrenaline, that go straight to the heart of this addiction. When someone is addicted to exercise it can be extremely harmful to their physical well being, breaking down body parts that can only withstand so much demand.

 

Treatment For Addiction

Many of these addictions are co-occurring with each other. Often someone dealing with an addiction to shopping, food, gambling, etc, are also chemically dependent on some type of drug or alcohol. If you or someone you know are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction call us at (844) 299-0618 to learn more about our programs and how we can help you find freedom from your addiction.

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