In 'The Addictive Behaviors,' author W.R. Miller tells us that people can become dependent on, addicted to or compulsively obsessed with any substance, object, an activity or habit that gives them pleasure. We have substance addictions and behavior addiction.

According to Wikipedia and I quote, "Addictive behavior is any activity, substance, object, or behavior that becomes the major focus of a person's life resulting in a physical, mental, and/or social withdrawal from their normal day to day obligations."

It has been noted that there are some similarities between behavior addiction like gambling and substance addictions like drugs, alcohol etc. Addiction leads to physical or a psychological dependence.

The object of the addiction could be anything like food, shopping, sex, alcohol, drugs etc. Individuals often report that they experience a blackout while engaging in substance addictions and they remember very little about what transpired.

Engaging in addictive behaviors cause the endorphins to be released in the brain and this will create a false feeling of euphoria. And this keeps the addicts trapped in an addictive cycle. The addicted person loses the ability to control his habits. This causes him to continue the destructive habits even though they cause social, physical and mental health consequences. The addiction may cause a loss of relationships or career. An addict continues compulsively with the addictive behavior even if he no longer derives pleasure from it.

When he tries to stop engaging in the addiction, he often suffers from physical consequences like craving, irritability and restlessness. In all likelihood, the addicted person denies that he has a problem and refuses to see that it is destroying his health, family or career. He may feel that he has a bad habit and he has control of it which is exactly the opposite of reality.

People who are addicted to substance abuse or behaviors often suffer from depression as well. They usually have low self-esteem and were raised in families that were physically or psychologically abusive. Currently, there is not a consensus among professionals as to the cause, prevention or treatment of addiction. Some experts believe addiction is a disease while others think it arises due to a combination of heredity and environmental factors. They argue that addiction is not a disease because it does not have one definite cause and course of treatment.

This disagreement between mental health practitioners can cause problems when it comes to treatment of addiction and prevention management. No one approach works for all addicts. However, there are many forms of treatment that are effective; it is a matter of finding the right one for each addict.

"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism."- C.G. Jung

Author's Bio: 

Part of being supportive to others including addicts is to help them do something. It is always important to help somebody do something because it instills optimism and compassion. The author of this article is Joshua Nyamache and together with other staff members they are working on Nikenya website, a website that you connect with friends and read articles that contain informative information geared towards the attainment of self-improvement.