An addictive behavior is defined as “a behavior, or a stimulus related to a behavior (e.g., sex or food), that is both rewarding and reinforcing, and is associated with the development of an addiction.” The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.” Addiction, clinically known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. There is a wide range of addictive behaviors that may be deemed problematic. Medical News Today provides a list of common examples of problematic addictive behaviors, some of which include the following:
- Preoccupation with substance of choice: An individual will become obsessed with and spend increasingly more time and energy thinking of ways to procure more of their substance of choice, other ways they can use it, etc.
- Lack of impulse control: An individual will exhibit an inability to delay gratification or to avoid abusing substances despite potential consequences.
- Secrecy and denial: A person may become disinterested in spending time with others, as they prefer using substances alone, in secret. They may choose to give up and no longer participate in previously enjoyed pastimes with family and/ or friends. Though an individual may be aware of the presence of a physical dependence, they will often deny or refuse to accept the need for treatment, maintaining they are fully capable of stopping use on their own, anytime they wish.
- Withdrawal: When a substance that one’s body has become accustomed to functioning with is absent or has less of the substance in his or her system, it will be unable to function optimally, and withdrawal symptoms will ensue. Withdrawal is defined as “a negative reaction to the cessation of a substance, thing, or behavior an individual has become dependent upon.” Symptoms of withdrawal can range from emotional to physical and based on a variety of factors, will differ in severity and duration.
- Inability to stop: Despite a person’s serious attempts to give up their addiction, they are unable to stop abusing drugs.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at email@example.com.