Addiction can take many forms and can be defined as either substance dependence or behavioral dependence. Drug addiction refers to the sustained use of drugs, despite the negative effects they have on a person’s daily life. Those addicted to drugs often have difficulty quitting on their own. The addiction also negatively impacts relationships, health and work. Cocaine, heroin, morphine and prescription medications are among the most commonly abused drugs, according to NYU Langone Medical Center.
Symptoms of drug addiction include changes in sleep patterns, unexplained weight loss, social isolation, issues at work, mood swings, personality changes and more.
Types of addiction
Aside from substance abuse, behavioral dependence is another type of addiction. This can include addictions to sex, gambling, shopping and more. Technology addiction is becoming more and more prevalent worldwide. According to Dr. David Greenfield of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, about 80 percent of our technology use has nothing to do with productivity or education. There’s even an annual National Day of Unplugging to encourage Americans to take more digital timeouts. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that behavioral addictions are similar to substance addiction in many ways, according to the National Institutes of Health. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a common treatment approach that teaches patients strategies for replacing addictive behaviors with more positive ones.
Researchers have found evidence that some people have a greater risk at becoming addicted than others due to their so call addictive personality. This can be due to:
- Biological factors: some people have a bigger need of arousal/thrill due to abnormalities in dopamine levels
- Physiological factors: addiction can stem out of insecurities, feeling of not belonging and heightened stress and lack of coping skills
- Environmental factors: traumas and stress can cause the addiction to manifest
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” approach to drug abuse treatment. On the contrary, treatment should be tailored to the individual.
- Medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapy can have positive outcomes.
- Rehabilitation programs can also be effective for those struggling with drug abuse.
Nicotine addiction is another prevalent addiction in the United States. According to the CDC, roughly 68 percent of the nation’s adult smokers report that they want to fully quit the habit. Experts say the most effective smoking cessation methods include counseling, medications and lifestyle changes.