An Overview Of Addictions

What Are Addictions?

Addiction is classified as a lifelong chronic disease. People suffering from addictions have a compulsion and urge that they cannot control to use toxic or dangerous substances, while others participate in activities that can be harmful even when they are aware of the negative impact it can cause on their lives. They are mentally or physically not able to avoid these habits even if they try.

Without the appropriate treatment, addiction often damages relationships, causes issues at work, or can also lead to legal and financial issues. Excessive alcohol and drug use can result in various types of dangerous health issues, and in some cases, it can also be fatal. Treatment dedicated to addiction includes medication, therapy, and rehabilitation.

Is Addiction Common?

Unfortunately, addiction is extremely common. At this stage, around 20 million people living in the U.S. suffer from some form of substance abuse or use disorder. Substance use disorders often reference substances that enhance dopamine levels unnaturally in an area known as the ‘reward pathway’. These often include illicit substances, prescription painkillers, alcohol (alcoholism), or nicotine. Addictions to substances are the more well-known form of addiction, but individuals also suffer from addictions that relate to behaviour. Some of these include:

  • Eating
  • Dieting or exercising


  • Viewing pornography or addiction to having sex
  • Shoplifting or participating in other forms of risky behaviour
  • Spending too much time on the internet or playing video games

What Type Of People Are More Likely To Develop Addictions

Any person has the potential to develop an addiction to substances, yet individuals that already have other people in their families that have addicted personalities seem to be at higher risks. People suffering from a mental health disorder such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or depression are also more prone to having “co-morbid substance use” disorders. Transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay people are also more prone to diseases relating to substance use since they tend to experience psychiatric issues on a higher level when compared to heterosexual people. The factors relating to these experiences often include family dynamic issues and discrimination.

What Are The Signs That A Person Has An Addiction?

Addiction symptoms will vary from one person to the next. Specific individuals that are suffering from an addiction can still function well when it comes to daily living. These people tend to hide their substance use or activities from others. While others have more severe symptoms such as:

Not being able to stop themselves from using:

Some people engage in dangerous addictive behaviour or use substances even when they would like to stop. They often try countless times to stop using or cut down on their use but they cannot.

An increase in tolerance:

As time goes by, many addicts will need more nicotine, drugs, or alcohol to experience the euphoric effects they were feeling before. They might also have to carry on using a substance (the same amount) to deal with psychological and physiological withdrawals they could experience from reducing their substance use or cessation. This occurs when the body starts to build up a tolerance to certain substances.

An intense focus on behaviours or substances:

A person with an addiction can often become ‘pathologically preoccupied’ with alcohol, harmful behaviours, or drugs. They might start to believe the addiction is controlling their lives since they start spending a lot more of their time thinking of, obtaining, and craving their substance use or harmful behaviour.

Loss of control:

Addicts often feel as if they have lost control completely over using substances and generally feel helpless. Many feel depressed, guilty, or/and completely overwhelmed over how it has changed their lives.

When you are in loss of control, you require alcohol treatment. If you are living at Berkshire, there are many rehab centres. You can search through Google for alcohol rehab in Berkshire where you can get help on how to sort out your addicted life.

Health problems and personal issues:

A person’s addiction will often affect every aspect of their life, including their mental health, career, personal relationships, and medical health. Many addicts start struggling to honour their bills or purposely start to isolate themselves when it comes to their family and friends. They also go through legal negative experiences such as landing up in jail for driving their vehicle impaired. Once again, even though they are well aware of the devastating effect that their addiction is causing in their life, they are unable to stop using.


Addicts also experience physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms as soon as they try to stop using. Physical symptoms often include throwing up, sweating, and shaking. They also usually experience feelings of anger, anxiousness, or sadness.

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