Wikipedia gives us the definition of Addiction as such: “Addiction is a psychological disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Despite the involvement of a number of psychosocial factors, a biological process-one that is induced by repeated exposure to an addictive stimulus-is the core pathology that drives the development and maintenance of an addiction, according to the ‘brain disease model’ of addiction. However, some scholars who study addiction argue that the brain disease model is incomplete and misleading.”
Addiction is basically an inability to stop using or utilizing something that you know is quite dangerous and fatal to your mental as well as your physical health. Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. Addiction causes alteration to the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal human sensations and drives, ultimately rendering the person quite useless in their course of daily lives.
Before getting into the different types of addiction, it will be helpful to understand a few general elements about what addiction does to us, like it interferes in the reward system in our brain making release of the neurotransmitter dopamine along with other chemicals, so that it can reinforce our brain’s association with this addiction as a thing of pleasure; heightening our cravings and tolerance limit, disinterest in other activities, and ultimately the situation spiraling out of hand with loss of control.
Today, most experts recognize two types of addiction are prevalent, they are as follows:
- Chemical addiction:
Chemical addiction refers to that type of addiction that involves the usage of substances like alcohol, opioids and various drugs. Rehab or residential treatment, therapy, specialist suggested medications and support groups contribute together towards the treatment of chemical addiction or substance use disorders.
- Behavioral addiction:
Behavioral addiction refers to that type of addiction that involves compulsive behaviors. These are persistent, repeated behaviors that you carry out even if they don’t offer any real benefit. Some behavioral addictions are gambling addiction, shopping addiction, internet gaming disorder and others. Many different factors contribute to behavioral addictions and treatment approaches might vary, but therapy is the first recommendation followed by various self-help groups.