What is Addiction?

Addiction is defined as the dependency on a particular substance, activity or object. Addiction comes in many forms, affects any person and can be quite debilitating to one’s livelihood. Addictions can be financially burdensome, and some types can be criminally life altering.

No matter the form of the addiction, it will be time-consuming and destructive to your lifestyle. Addiction can also lead to criminal activity or at times death.

What are the most common types of addiction?

The most prevalent types of addiction are drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, video games, and shopping. All of these share common traits of financial trouble and possible criminal charges.

Other common characteristics of these addictions are a warped sense of reality, loss of time, losing sight of priorities such as everyday tasks and work responsibilities, overspending of finances and more.

Addiction can extend beyond the detailed examples given previously but are still just as disruptive.

What are the symptoms of addiction?

Each individual is affected differently depending on his or her body chemistry, mental functions, and type of addiction. Common symptoms include but are not limited to: loss of control, continued use against warnings, obsession with using, multiple failed attempts to quit, and withdrawal. These are common with nicotine, drugs and alcohol substances. The wording can be changed for addictions such as shopping, video games, and gambling.

Who is most likely to become addicted?

Addiction can affect any person at any age. The following factors have been considered when determining who is most likely to become addicted to substances or objects: genetics, personality traits like impulse control, seeking different sensations, depression, anxiety, environmental such as any type of abuse, and starting these behaviors at a very young age. Younger individuals are more likely to be influenced by substances and behaviors that mimic those who are involved in their lives.

Is addiction a disease?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine as well as the American Medical Association (AMA), classify addiction as a disease. An addiction that is untreated can lead to consequences such as dependency, mental and health issues. If the behavior continues with specific addiction behaviors, the repercussions become more severe, disabling and at times life-threatening.

Addictions have the potential to take over lives, disrupt the lives of surrounding individuals and loss of relationships, jobs, money and even lives.

What help is there for addiction?

As with any addiction, the problem must first be admitted and then seeking the appropriate help can begin. There are treatment centers, medications, counseling, group therapy, rehabilitative services, and mentoring.

If you are suffering from addiction or know someone who is, there are local resources to help combat the severe consequences of addiction before it’s too late. A lot of times, pure willpower and desire to quit the behavior is not enough.

Help is there to provide the extra resources and techniques to be successful in quitting because attempting to go it alone can be more difficult than using the support of professionals or peer support groups.