Do Behavioral Addictions Exist?

Do Behavioral Addictions Exist?

When most people think about addiction, their minds jump to drugs like heroin or cocaine, but there are other types of addictions that can have significant effects on a person’s life. Behavioral addiction is an increasingly common term that refers to a type of addiction that does not involve any type of substance. Behavioral addictions can affect a person’s substance abuse and cause him or her to be more likely to suffer from a substance addiction along with his or her behavioral addiction. Behavioral addictions can be treated with therapy, but if left untreated, they will cause many of the same problems in a user’s life as a substance addiction.

What Is a Behavioral Addiction?

A behavioral addiction is a type of addiction that does not involve a substance such as alcohol or drugs. Behavioral addiction may also be referred to as process addiction or non-substance-related addiction, and it involves a compulsive behavior that will eventually result in serious negative consequences in the person’s life. If a person continues to engage in the compulsive behavior despite the consequences, this is a serious sign that he or she suffers from a behavioral addiction. Once a person suffers from a behavioral addiction, just like a substance addiction to a drug like morphine, it becomes difficult to control without treatment.

Behavioral Addiction and Drug Addiction

Behavioral addiction and drug addiction have a unique relationship because each one can affect the other causing both problems to become worse. Which one develops first varies by user, but many times a user with either a behavioral addiction or drug addiction turns to the other behavior in order to seek relief from his or her original addiction. If, for instance, a person suffering from a behavioral addiction begins abusing morphine to numb him or herself from the behavioral addiction, in time he or she will begin suffering from morphine addiction as well. This causes the user to need treatment for two addictions instead of one. If the addictions are allowed to continue, they will get worse progressively.

Understanding and Treating Behavioral Addiction

Scientists are still working to understand behavioral addictions, but like substance addictions, you can learn to manage it with professional treatment. If you suffer from a behavioral addiction, call our toll-free helpline today, and learn about how behavioral addiction treatment can help you change your behavior. If you also suffer from another addiction as well, be sure to ask our trained addiction experts about a special type of treatment called Dual Diagnosis treatment that treats both addictions at once. We are here for you 24 hours a day, so call now.