The dictionary definition of addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity.”
There are many different types of addiction which include drug abuse, gambling addiction, sex addiction, addictions to exercise, and shopping addiction. The most dangerous addictions are to alcohol or drugs due to the detrimental health effects they can have on the body. These can lead to cancer, disease and even death.
An addiction may have physical symptoms when substance abuse is involved. Tolerance of the drug of choice will increase when the body incorporates it into its “normal” everyday functioning. Once the body is used to having the intoxicant running round the system stopping taking it can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are typically characterised by intense craving for the drug, anxiety, sickness and diarrhoea, paranoia and depression. Violent mood swings may be experienced by the withdrawing user as the nervous system struggles to adjust to a drug-free state. It can also induce hallucinations, delusions and acute mental distress.
Where addiction does not involve substance abuse, such as gambling, shopping or sex addiction, addiction is used to describe an obsessive-compulsive and that a person cannot stop. Such activities are often used as a diversion in procrastination. That addict is not trying to do anything that simply to do nothing. By leaving everything in their lives to the last minute their lifestyle and is also often linked with depression. When receiving treatment for addiction needs treatment referred to as a dual diagnosis when a sufferer has problems with one or more addictions. This requires specialist care and treatment as both conditions need to be addressed.
The physical part of an addiction is much easier to break down the psychological reasons someone becomes an addict. The implications of addiction are far reaching and can have dire consequences. Depression and personality disorders can be triggered or exacerbated by addiction.
Causes of addiction I widely debated in research. Many addictions lie in negative experiences in childhood, abuse and having had parents who were addicts they may be more prone to addiction. Some scholars argue it is a neurological impediment and his priest disposed by genetics and the structure of brain systems. Those suffering from addiction often have low levels of melatonin and serotonin, which assist in mood regulation and may benefit from medication.
Addiction is often treated by medication and there are increasing amounts of medical interventions that can increase chances of recovery from an addiction. It is often said that an addiction cannot be cured but it can’t be treated. Managing behaviours and addressing destructive habits and personality traits may help an addict understand their use and stop. There are self-help programs available to help addictions and private rehabilitation options. There are also NHS rehabilitation services but they are often heavily oversubscribed and there may be a long waiting list to secure a place.
Addiction remains lives and if you someone you know suffering from this difficult illness then you should seek help immediately.