Addictions – Why Are You An Addict And Can You Learn To Live Addiction Free?

Cheryl has a dirty secret. Her husband is unaware that she has accumulated millions of dollars in debt due to her obsessive online gambling.

Luke cannot seem to stop watching porn. Not an occasional video now and then; but for more than 4 hrs every single day.

Kate had resorted to drinks as a way to reliever her stress after a nerve-wracking day at the office. But now she cannot fall asleep without first downing 6 bottles.

Serge needs a snort of cocaine to keep him going through the day. He is lethargic and lifeless without it….

Addiction – be it to drugs, internet, food, work, gambling – is plaguing millions of lives today. It can be defined as an excessive physical and/or psychological dependence on something.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Originally pleasure, relief or enjoyment may have been sought from the substance or the activity. But over a period of time, continuous involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.

Addiction may not refer to only the physical substances we consume but can even include abstract activities like gambling or shopping. In this regard, addiction can be categorized as substance dependence and behavioral addiction.

Substance dependence (physical addiction) is when a person is addicted to a particular substance, he develops tolerance to the substance (needs increased amounts to experience the effects). He experiences withdrawal symptoms when the use is reduced or stopped. Some common addictive drugs are:

a) Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine, opium) are very addictive, and are usually consumed by injecting the drug into your blood stream, smoking, or snorting. These drugs are used as painkillers, and create an euphoric, and very relaxed state of mind.

b) Prescription drugs (percocet, hydrocodone, Oxycontin, vicodin, etc.) this list could go on and on. If there is a pill or drug available more than likely someone has abused it!

c) Methamphetamine or speed! This drug has ruined countless lives, and is usually injected, smoked, or snorted. Very highly addictive, and can lead to death in just a few years.

d) Cocaine (crack cocaine) Comes from the leaf of the coco plant. Highly addictive, and very expensive, many a fortune has been spent on this drug.

e) Alcohol Alcohol in it’s various forms, while legal, is also very addictive and is perhaps the most abused drug out there.

f) Tobacco Tobacco products are again legal, but addictive, and widely used the world over.

Behavioral addiction (or psychological addiction) does not rely on ingestion of any substance. It occurs when someone repeatedly engages in an activity to the point where it negatively affects their lives. And they are unable to stop themselves from engaging in the activity. Behavioral addiction can negatively affect a person’s health, finance and personal relations. The most recognized types of behavioral addictions are:

a) Gambling addiction Those suffering from this are not in control over whether they will gamble or not. They cannot stop gambling despite the negative consequences or the desire to stop. They get a high from the experience and will continue doing so to get the same feeling over and over again, even though losses continue to accumulate.

b) Porn addiction When porn becomes the focus of one’s life so much so that they spend hours and days at a time, thinking or viewing porn then they are caught up in a porn addiction. Porn addiction is more than viewing erotic material for personal enjoyment. Their obsession with porn affects their real-world relationships.

c) Shopping addiction For a shopping addict, the urge to spend is out of control. They feel compelled to buy items they may not need or want. They use shopping as a way to deal with their anxiety or stress. It can lead to severe financial consequences if not controlled.

d) Exercise addiction An exercise addict is over involved with physical activity. Their extreme fixation on physical activity is more than is required to be fit or to train for a particular sport.

d) Sex addiction Sex addicts use sex as a coping mechanism to deal with one’s stress, escape from negative feelings or to get a rush. They do not use sex to intimately connect with their partner. Their sexual activities tend to negatively affect their lives.

e) Video game addiction Video game addicts are more engaged with playing than with their real lives. Playing becomes more important to them than work or school and their personal relations.

f) Work addiction Work becomes the focus of a work addict’s life and he cannot stop thinking or obsessing about work. Work addiction can have a huge strain on a person’s mental and physical health and also on his personal relations.

If you find yourself addicted, either physically, or psychologically, you are not alone, and you can ‘kick’ the habit, no matter what your addiction is. Don’t give up on yourself, find a program catering to your particular addiction, and free yourself from it’s hold.