What are Behavioral Addictions and How are they Similar to Substance Addictions?

Any type of addiction poses potential harm to the individual addicted, as well as their loved ones. Most know about the harm of substance addictions, but what are behavioral addictions, and how do they relate? If you or a loved one could be suffering from a behavioral addiction, then this could be extremely important information for you to be aware of.

Symptomatic Similarities

According to NCBI, one if the most prevalent symptoms of addiction are the inability to fight the temptation of reckless behavior that is harmful to self as well as others. Some of the top behavioral addictions are gambling, the internet, shopping, video games, or food.

While these addictions are not substance abuse like alcohol or drugs, they can still be harmful and hurt those around you if you spend all your time with a certain activity or carelessly throw away money that could help your family. Individuals who suffer from behavioral addictions develop an extreme compulsion to continue these behaviors, no matter how harmful they may be.

Demographic Similarities

Behavioral Addictions

Teenagers and young adults are the primary demographic affected by both behavioral and substance addictions.

The similarities between behavioral and substance addictions begin with the fact that they both primarily affect a certain age group. Both addictions have shown to begin primarily in teenagers and young adults, and both of these addictions induce a sort of craving for the substance or behavior that one is addicted to.

Giving into that craving can produce a mood that could be related to the “high” that one experiences with drug use, but over time the positive effect of giving in fades as you continue to overdo this behavioral addiction.

Reports have also shown that marriage and financial issues arise from behavioral addictions just as they do with substance addictions. The psychological changes in the brain that arise from any form of addiction are not something that is easy to overcome, which can present many problems with a family or social network.

Treatment Similarities

The treatments for behavioral addictions can be similar to the recovery of a substance addict. According to the United States Department of Labor, substance abuse and behavioral counselors help people who suffer from many different types of addictions. They assist addicts in making better decisions and provide support in modifying problematic behaviors.

For an individual with a behavioral addiction, it may take some time and a lot of effort for them to overcome the pathological need that they have developed for this behavior. With the right amount of support and accountability from friends and loved ones, however, overcoming behavioral addiction is something that can be accomplished to live a healthier lifestyle.

If you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from such a behavioral addiction, call 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?) to speak with a caring specialist about the possibilities for treatment and recovery. Overcoming this addiction can be a great step to improving the unity of your family and improving the overall well-being of you or your loved one. The good news is that full recovery is possible and just a phone call away.

How is Sober Living Different from a Drug Treatment Program?

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