In Drugs & Addictions

Who is the Addict? Understanding Addicts


Addiction is a psychological, emotional or physical dependence on a substance, action or ideal. A person can become addicted to something for a variety of reasons. The most common type of addiction is a drug addiction, but several other types of addictions exist. Examples of alternative addictions include sugar addiction, caffeine addiction, gambling addiction, and love addiction. The addicted person grows accustomed to the physical attributes or bodily changes that occur from an addictive person or substance. The person may experience painful withdrawal symptoms upon trying to cease performing the activity or ingesting the substance.

Symptoms of Addiction

Various symptoms can surface once someone becomes addicted to a substance or activity. The most prevalent symptom of addiction is mental preoccupation. The addicted person becomes consumed with addiction-seeking activities. The addiction-seeking activities overrule the person’s obligation that he or she has to friends, family members and employers. An addicted person will often show up for work late or call out to engage in addictive behaviors. He or she may start to miss important meetings, and the person’s family life may deteriorate because of mood swings, disappearances, infidelity, and sometimes domestic abuse.

A person who is addicted to substances such as drugs, sugar and caffeine may experience a wealth of uncomfortable physical symptoms called withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms vary in severity according to the substance to which the person is addicted. Symptoms of sugar withdrawal may include flu-like symptoms, lethargy, depression and cravings for an abundance of foods that contain sugar. A person who has a caffeine addiction may experience migraine headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, nausea and vomiting.

Drug addictions can cause a range of withdrawal symptoms. Each drug can cause a various symptoms to occur. Some of the most common symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal are muscle cramps, sweating, diarrhea, stomach pains, depression, anxiety, paranoia, seizures, tremors, irritability and delirium. Most people who suffer with painful substance withdrawal symptoms need to spend time in a drug rehab addict facility to obtain assistance recovering from the illness.

A person who has a gambling problem will show more psychological symptoms than physical symptoms. The person may also exhibit strange behavioral changes such as secrecy, dishonesty and social withdrawal. The gambler may lose important bill money and lie about where the proceeds went. The person may seem as if he or she is constantly edgy and nervous. The individual may have extreme cases of irritability and anxiety about losing money. A gambling addiction can ruin households because of the addicted person’s activities and behaviors. A specialist needs to intervene to help the person take hold of his or her life before everything in the household is gone.

Love addiction has different symptoms. A person who suffers with a love addiction loves the feeling of being in a relationship so much that he or she feels high during the honeymoon stages. Many people who have love addictions stay involved in long-term toxic relationships because they do not want to be alone and have to deal with an empty feeling inside. The persons often suffer with extreme depression and anxiety when they withdraw from the peple in their relationships. The relationships are usually volatile, as well. The love-addicted person endures many breakups and makeups because his or her interpersonal dealings are usually unhealthy. Love addiction must be treated the same way that other addictions are treated. Specialists can help individuals who are stuck in the cycle of unhealthy loving and living.

Sex addiction is another type of addiction that a person may develop. Sex addiction is an unhealthy addiction to the act of having intercourse. Sex addicted persons often cheat or their spouses and significant others because they always feel unfulfilled. Some sex addictions involve excessive pornography usage. When sex addicts are not engaging in sexual relations, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and depression.

Depression occurs with many addiction types because the addicted parties feel guilt about their problems. Many of them do not want to have such addictions, but the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms are sometimes too unbearable for them to handle. The additional layer of depression often results in additional missed time from work, family problems and overall decompression.

Causes of Addiction

Addiction can have many causes. Genetics may cause a natural disposition for a person to develop a certain type of addiction. For instance, a person with an alcoholic parent may be more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol if he or she experiments with it. Environmental factors may cause addictive traits, as well. Environmental factors are problems that occur or issues that arise in one’s environment. They could include a death in the family, high school bullying, domestic violence, job loss and more. Those events could cause an episode of depression, which would leave the affected person vulnerable to developing an addiction.

Some addictive behaviors can come from childhood trauma. Abusive and neglectful parents who do not teach proper emotion regulation raise some children. These parents may deny their children praise, affection and pleasure. The victimized children may develop maladaptive patterns of behavior to make up for their lack of proper nurturing. People who grow up with emotional wounds are more susceptible to addiction than people who grow up in stable homes are.

Addiction can come from a mental illness such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Several other mental illnesses exist that can aid in a person’s development of addiction. However, people with illnesses that affect their moods and their self-image are extremely vulnerable to addiction. For instance, a mentally ill person may take a pain pill one day during an episode of depression. The pain pill may make that person feel elated and happy. The person may continue to take the pain pills because of the psychological affects that they have on his or her mood. Eventually, a habit will develop, and then a full-blown physical and mental addiction will develop. Withdrawal symptoms will start to appear, as well.

Treatment for Addiction

Drug rehab addict recovery centers or drug rehabilitations can provide the most help for a person with a drug or alcohol addiction. Such facilities offer a wide variety of services such as detoxification, individual therapy, group counseling, alternative therapies, and aftercare services.

Detoxification is a period of cleansing that allows an addicted person to run the poisonous substances out of his or her system. Detox can last as few as three days or as long as two weeks depending on the substance in question. Individual therapy consists of personal one-on-one time spent with a licensed therapist. The therapist and the addicted person usually work together to analyze the cause of the addiction and create innovate relapse prevention and coping strategies.

Group counseling involves counselors and several residents who have share the same addiction as the addict. Aftercare may include a sponsorship program or a buddy program in which addicted parties support each other to avoid addiction relapses. Finally, alternative therapies are activities that are not part of a traditional therapeutic system. Some facilities may offer alternative therapies such as painting, music, hiking, Yoga, sports or sculpting. Some facilities take their members on special trips.

People suffering from Gambling addiction, sex addiction and love-addiction  would need behavioral therapies more than they would need any other type of service. Behavioral therapies help to change their path of logic and their maladaptive thought processes. An experienced therapist can help a patient to seek healthy activities to replace unhealthy activities. The first step in the process for healing such an addicted person is discovering the root of the addiction. That part of the recovery stays the same. Some types of treatment may even overlap. For example, alternative therapies can serve as effective replacements for gambling expeditions.

Getting Help for Addictions

Any person with an addiction can receive the necessary help that he or she needs by contacting a reputable recovery center or specialists. The person can find help through a number of resources. Referral hotlines provide discreet connections to local rehab centers and caretakers. Insurance companies, doctors and online search engines can help people to find recovery centers, as well. An interested person should schedule a walk-through in a facility of interest before he or she registers for a program. The person will want to get a close-up view of the facility’s sanitary standards, staff personas and program features. Visiting three facilities before making a decision is advised.

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