The Connection between Behavioral Addictions and Substance Abuse Disorders

The Connection between Behavioral Addictions and Substance Abuse DisordersRecently, the term “addiction” has acquired a wider definition, so it now includes a broad range of psychological and physical dependencies. For instance, behavioral addictions are now recognized and treated as drug addictions are, and people with both addictions at the same time can suffer from considerable problems. Because of this new definition and effects of addiction, many medical professionals have developed unique treatment options to help addicts recover; seek help as soon as possible to address all of your issues at the same time.

What Is a Behavioral Addiction?

A behavioral addiction is a psychological dependence on a specific behavior. People who are addicted to a behavior (such as shopping, gambling, sex and etc.) usually overlook how their behavior causes stress, governs their moods and creates other addiction symptoms, which is similar to drug addiction. In fact, similar physical reactions occur whether someone is addicted to a behavior or a drug. First, people become tolerant to an act or drug, so they must either increase the dosage to feel the same effect (for instance, gamble with higher stakes or take more drugs), or they must abuse the drug more frequently (for instance, have sex or take drugs more often). As addiction develops, they must do this not to feel pleasure, but to stave off withdrawal symptoms.

People can become addicted to the following behaviors:

  • Gambling
  • Having sex
  • Eating
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Viewing pornography
  • Shopping
  • Exercising
  • Working

Addiction affects entire families, so people may need family and group therapy to overcome these problems.

How to Treat Simultaneous Behavioral and Drug Addictions

Addictions to a behavior or drug cause people to ignore the pain they cause while addicted. As long as the addiction continues, addicts do not feel much remorse or desire to change. With this in mind, addicts may be apathetic if another addiction appears. For example, someone with a gambling problem may abuse drugs to deal with great loss or financial problems, but this encourages drug addiction, not recovery. Also, a drug addict may obsessively gamble to get money to buy drugs.

Because two addictions can develop simultaneously, treatment must address both mental health problems and substance abuse at the same time. This form of help can be at Dual Diagnosis treatment centers, which offer great chances of success for people with multiple addictions. You can recover if you address all your addiction issues.

Recovery for Multiple Addictions

With proper assistance and advice, it can be easy to take the first step into addiction recovery. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline. To find a rehab center for yourself or a loved one, call us now for free information on interventions, Dual Diagnosis treatment, medically supervised detox and more. Don’t waste another moment and reclaim your life today.