Addiction isn’t always about drugs and alcohol. Substance use disorder is the one we hear about most, however. As a result, when someone mentions having a friend or family member who struggles with addiction, we may first assume they’re battling a dependency on opioid drugs, alcohol, or methamphetamine. In truth, someone with the right risk factors may become “hooked” on other people, activities, or behaviors, as well. If someone you love is battling an addiction, contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today at 844.442.8673.
Addiction Definition and Common Sources
Addiction is defined as a compulsive need for a habit-forming substance, activity, or behavior, regardless of the negative consequences it has on your life. Common sources of addiction in America include many things, such as:
- Prescription or street drugs
It may seem strange to think of someone having an addiction to food or sex, but these are real disorders that require medical intervention. Just like substance use disorder, they can take over your life, consume your thoughts, and wreck your relationships. They can destroy your finances, too. As a result, you may end up homeless, jobless, or with a credit score that would make even your mother shudder. Today, the addiction definition encompasses much more than just chemical substances. Consequently, if you routinely overeat, spend too much, or have difficulty being in a monogamous relationship, it may addiction that’s to blame.
Do I Fit the Addiction Definition?
While it may be normal to go on the occasional shopping spree or to go an entire day without eating, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. Activities that you do to excess could be signs of addiction, especially if you feel compelled. For instance, people who think they have little or no control over life may focus on food intake because they see it as the only source of power they have left. As a result, they develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating. Likewise, someone who has trouble setting healthy boundaries may turn to compulsive online shopping to make themselves feel better. Someone else may frequent casinos or place bets on horses with little control.
All of these activities fit the addiction definition if they’re ones you can’t seem to stop doing. If you find yourself at the mercy of a chemical substance, behavior, or activity that you feel helpless to control, it’s time to seek professional help.
Treatment for Forms of Addiction
Of course, treating a substance use disorder is very different from treating an eating disorder. Still, they both require a change of mindset and a healthier way of coping with stress and disappointment in life. This area is where behavioral counseling at a reputable addiction facility becomes vital. Treatments that have proven effective across the board include:
- Group and individual counseling
- Peer support
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Music and art therapies
- 12-step models of treatment
In many instances, residential treatment is a reliable option as it offers round-the-clock access to clinicians and therapy. For others, outpatient care may suffice because it allows clients more freedom to work or attend classes during treatment.
Contact Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge for Help
For those who live in or near Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge can help loved ones who struggle with the addiction definition. For more than 60 years, we’ve been guiding clients gently toward healthier, more fulfilling lifestyles. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects more than the individual. As a family disease, it impacts parents, children, siblings, and spouses, too. We can help your family heal from the scars of many forms of addiction if you reach out today at 844.442.8673. Regardless of what has control over your present life, we can help you learn how to manage it. Call today to find out how.