Addiction is characterized by an inability to refrain from or control substance use or compulsive behaviors. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic disease of the brain that manifests biologically, socially and spiritually. Aspects of the disease may include cravings for drugs, alcohol and compulsive behaviors, and failure to recognize negative life consequences and strained interpersonal relationships as a result of an addiction. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of addiction or call 844-299-7326 to learn more.
Typically addictions are categorized into two groups: substance use disorders and behavioral addictions. Often these categories overlap. For example, a person with a sex addiction (behavioral addiction) may also suffer from an alcohol or drug problem (substance use disorder).
Substance Addictions – Substance addictions involve the continued use of drugs or alcohol to obtain an altered state of mind. The National Institute of Drug Abuse lists the most commonly abused substances as methamphetamines, bath salts, salvia (herb that produces hallucinogenic experiences), club drugs, cocaine, opioids, hallucinogens, prescription drugs and cold medicines, nicotine/tobacco, heroin, steroids, inhalants, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids and MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).
Behavioral Addictions – Behavioral addictions, also known as process addictions, are compulsive behaviors that act on the reward center of the brain to produce an emotional high. Like substance addictions, eventually a person with a behavioral addiction may need to engage in the compulsive behavior more and more to get the same effect.
Though all behavioral addictions are not yet recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, common ones widely acknowledged by addiction and mental health professionals include food addiction, shopping addiction, and sex, love and porn addiction.
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As medical and behavioral research has advanced so has the understanding and treatment of addiction. Gone are the days of viewing addiction as a matter of willpower. It is now known to be a chronic brain disease that requires comprehensive, professional care, which not only eliminates the symptoms but addresses underlying mental health disorders, changes in brain chemistry, and contributing factors like past trauma and familial upbringing.
The highest level of care for addiction typically involves medical alcohol or drug detox and a stay in an inpatient substance abuse treatment center. From there, varying levels of care include intensive outpatient addiction treatment, sober living housing, group therapy and individual therapy. Many individuals will require all of these drug and alcohol interventions to maintain sobriety long term. Speak Confidentially with a Promises New Jersey Recovery Advisor at 844-299-7326
If you fear you or a loved one has an addiction, we can help. Our expert admissions advisers will answer all of your questions and give you a free, confidential consultation. Call now: 844-299-7326