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Addiction- How Professionals Describe It?

Addiction is continued use of any behavior or mood altering substance despite adverse consequence, or neurological impairments leading to such a behavior. Addictions are not just limited to, but may include exercise addiction, drug abuse, food addiction, computer addiction, sexual addiction, and gambling. The classic hallmarks of the addiction include preoccupation with behavior or substance, impaired control over behavior or substances, denial, and continued use despite the consequences. People with addictions have not much control over what is being done. Their addiction often times reach at a point which may be harmful for them as well as for others and the addict tends to ignore common symptoms and signs of drug addiction. Addictions not just include the physical things that we consume, like alcohol or drugs, but they may include any virtual thing as well. Patterns and habits associated with the addictions are characterized typically by the short-term reward (immediate gratification, coupled with the long-term costs (delayed deleterious effects). Public health departments of various countries take appropriate measures to eradicate the problem of addiction from the people.

Addiction- According To Professionals

Addiction was referred to the psychoactive substances crossing blood-brain barrier, which used to alter the chemical brain balance temporarily; this would include tobacco, alcohol, and a few drugs. Considerable number of health care professionals, lay people, and psychologists now insist that the psychological dependency like sex, gambling, exercise, work, internet, etc. should be counted as addictions as well. The reason is that all these activities may also lead to the feelings of shame, guilt, despair, hopelessness, failure, anxiety, rejection and/or humiliation. When a person who is addicted to any such activity cannot control it, he eventually becomes dependent on it.

Habit Eventually Develops Into An Addiction

Most of us become engaged in the activities or use the substances without any serious problems. However, some people may experience the damaging physical and/or psychological effects when their habits become an addiction. Click here to see list of 10 common addictions.

Difference Between An Addiction And A Habit

With an addiction, you lose control of the choices. With a habit, on the other hand, you stay in complete control with the choices.
  • Habit- Habits are done by choice. Individuals with a habit can choose how to stop, when to stop, and would stop subsequently whenever they wish to. The physical/psychological component is not a big issue as it actually is with the addictions.
  • Addiction- With a physical/psychological component, individuals are unable to control aspects of their addiction without any help due to the physical or mental conditions involved.
Addiction to activities or substances can lead to serious issues sometimes at work, school, home and socially. Causes of addictions vary considerably, and they are not fully understood most of the times. They are caused generally by the combination of mental, physical, emotional and circumstantial factors. Dependency, also referred to as addiction leads to tolerance; an addicted individual needs more regular and larger amounts of the things they feel addicted to for receiving the same effect. The initial rewards are no longer felt; the addiction thus continues as withdrawal is very unpleasant.

Addiction Of Prescribed Medications

We hear the term ‘addiction’ and without wasting a single second, we think of the illegal drugs. Prescription drug Addictions, however, is becoming a public health problem especially in the US and many other countries. According to some scientists, the doctors today treat the pain differently as compared to how they used to treat it years ago. The change has basically led to a sudden increase in the prescription drug abuse. Check out what role an addictions counsellor play in society.