Addiction is a preoccupation with, and compulsion to do, use, or take something to the degree that it begins to have adverse consequences, but without the ability to stop. It also has a reward aspect which motivates individuals to continue. More often addiction is associated with drugs.
Drugs are substances that are used as ingredients in pharmacy, chemistry, and manufacturing. They have a neuropsychological and physiological effect, for example, they can be intoxicating, stimulating, or have a narcotic effect. Substances are often used for recreational, cultural, or other non-medicinal purposes, however people do sometimes ‘self-medicate’ with legal (e.g., alcohol) and illegal (e.g., cannabis) drugs.
When people are addicted to something, they feel compelled to seek out the drug, or activity they are addicted to. For example, people can be addicted to shopping, or gambling.
As people become tolerant to something, whether that be a drug or an activity, they start to require more of it, or have to go further with the behaviour in order to get the same high or buzz.
Addiction is likely at work when you find that you cannot stop using or doing the drug or act, even though it has harmful consequences for your health, relationships, and even life overall. You no longer feel in control of of your behaviour.
People who are addicted to something will often spend copious amounts of money on the object of their addiction, even if they can’t afford it. They often spend beyond their means, but cannot stop themselves.
People can easily become preoccupied with obtaining the drug, or doing the thing they are addicted to. It becomes important to ensure they have access to it. This often becomes devastating to relationships, and life.
When people become used to a chemical, whether that’s in the form of a drug (including alcohol), or food, they can start to have cravings for it. As our bodies get used to the drug, we develop tolerance, dependency, and addiction, resulting in physiological and psychological withdrawal symptoms if we attempt to reduce or stop consumption.
It is important to seek the support of family and friends and seek medical advice to understand your options. For example there are local and online support groups available. And therapy is also proven to help work through addictive behaviour or drug misuse. Phinity offer various treatment options to help people with addictions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been proven to help with many types of substance abuse by helping you to notice unhealthy behaviours, triggers, and coping strategies.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) helps to identify negative thinking, facilitate more rational and realistic ways of thinking, and work through self-defeating feelings.
Other forms of psychotherapy can help you to understand the reasons that underpin your vulnerability to addiction, and help you to work through them.
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