Addiction: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What is an addiction?


Addiction is a problematic behavior that stems from excessive use or substance consumption. People who become addicted to something may not aware that their behaviors impair many aspects of their lives.

People may become addicted to different substances or behaviors. Some may have addicted to alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine. While others are addicted to shopping, gambling, and sex.

But whatever the form, addiction certainly interferes a person’s daily activities. Addicted people most often abandoned their jobs, relationships, and goals.

People can be addicted to different substances such as:

  • Marijuana
  • LSD and similar hallucinogens
  • Tobacco
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Sedatives
  • Cocaine

What causes addiction?

There are many factors behind addictive behavior. The National Institute on Drug Abuse gives reasons as to why a person may become addicted to drugs. The factors may include:

  • Pleasure satisfaction
  • Stress relief
  • Better performance
  • Social pressure

People with addictive behaviors may be aware of their actions, however, they found it hard to stop. As a result, they end up in miserable life and health.

Symptoms of addiction

There are many signs that a person is addicted to something. The symptoms can be visible in a person’s daily behavior. A person may:

  •  Experience difficulty in limiting substance use
  • Experience intense craving for the substance or activity
  • Become tolerant of the drug’s effect making the substance impotent
  • Become irritable, anxious when he stops using the drug or stop performing the act
  • Indifferent on the negative outcome of his behavior

Addiction does not impair people’s sense of morality. They may still feel shame and guilt for what they have done or been doing. The awareness of their current experience may lead them to anxiety and depression.

Treatments for addiction

Like many psychological disorders, addiction can also be treated. But the treatment process won’t be easy. This is because people with addicted behavior may deny that they indeed have a problem. Social support can be a big help for the treatment process to take effect.

Addiction is a complex condition that no single treatment can be effective. Usually, the treatment process involves the combination of medication and group therapy.

Medications are employed to control the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The group therapy, on the other hand, purports to make the people make a clear assessment of their behavior.

In addition, a therapy is used to, once again, motivate individuals and help them cope with stress or depression.

Eight ways to avoid addiction

You can’t control the sun and the sunshine, but you can control your behavior. This means that you can do something to avoid addiction. Here are the tips you can apply in your life as you fight against temptations:

1.  Say no

If you think that something is driving you to drink alcohol or use drugs, just say no. Exploring is part of human development, but trying drugs or alcohol is not a good path to follow. Always remember that addictive behavior starts with a little try until the craving becomes uncontrollable. One of the best ways to avoid something negative is to never try it.

2.  Don’t drink alcohol until you are 21 or older

Scientific findings suggest that delayed consumption of alcohol reduces the risk of becoming addicted to it. Adolescents who drink alcohol are often found to be addicted compared to those who drink alcohol later in the early adulthood.

3.  Avoid social influence

People around you have a strong impact on your behavior. They can shape your life if you let them. Many people learned substance abuse or unproductive behavior from their peers. If you do what your friends are doing, you’ll become one of them. Limit the negative influences.

4.  Learn to cope stress correctly

One of the reasons behind addiction is stress. People tend to find happiness and satisfaction in drugs or in unproductive habits. However, these types of coping are futile. Drugs can only make things even worse. Why seek healthy ways to cope stress? Listen to music, watch your favorite TV shows, or find professionals who can help lessen your negative feelings.

5.  Develop a strong relationship

Your family is the most powerful support system you can have. Be with them. Share your personal experiences with your parents or siblings. Talking is a form of therapy that allows you to unload your burden.

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