The Connection Between Behavioral Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

The Connection Between Behavioral Addiction and Substance Use DisordersMany people think the word addiction only refers to substance abuse, but it actually describes other dangerous forms of abuse, such as behavioral problems. Behavioral addictions—such as to sex, gambling, eating or exercise—are common behavioral addictions, and they are generally caused by a traumatic event or the need to feel fulfilled. Similar to behavioral addictions, substance abuse disorders stem from similar causes, so the two problems are strongly linked. Because behavioral addictions and substance abuse disorders are so dangerous, anyone with either or both problems needs to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Connections between Behavioral Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

Behavioral addictions and substance use disorders often produce similar side effects, including preoccupation with the problematic behavior, neglecting other obligations to engage in the behavior and isolating oneself to participate in the behavior. In addition, the two disorders also share the following characteristics:

  • Feeling rewarded – People who struggle with substance use disorders often continue abusing drugs because of the rewarding feelings they receive when using a substance. The same feeling of reward is produced when people with behavioral addictions engage in addictive behaviors, making them continue their behavioral addictions to feel happy.
  • Difficulty stopping – Once an addiction either to a substance or a behavior develops, it is incredibly difficult to stop. People struggle with either problems may make numerous attempts to stop, but they may have little to no success, because their need for a fix is so much stronger than their need to get sober.
  • Relationships consequences – People with either problems will see noticeable differences in their relationships with others. This includes limited communication, communication that is negative and isolation from social situations in lieu of satisfying cravings. Behavioral addictions, like substance abuse disorders, can cause break-ups with significant others, estrangement from family members and much more as the addiction grows worse.

The most common connections between behavioral addiction and substance use disorders include feeling rewarded, being unable to stop use and suffering serious relationship consequences. But, professional treatment can address these dangerous problems and their consequences

Treatment for Behavioral Addictions and Substance Use Disorders

People who suffer from behavioral addictions often need professional help to get better. Patients can improve themselves through many behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, both of which teach patients to control their behaviors and impulses in positive ways. In other words, you can learn to overcome your controlling disorder if you seek professional help.

Find Help for Behavioral Addiction or Substance Use Disorders

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to get the help you deserve. Do not let your addiction stand in the way of a happy, healthy life any longer. Call us today for instant, confidential support.