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Process Addiction

process addictionProcess addictions are largely misunderstood. Many people are under a false impression that an addiction has to be to a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, and that any other compulsive behaviors must simply be a bad habit. This is not the case. Addiction can apply to a process, or a behavior, just as easily as it can to a physical substance. The addiction may be to gambling, to sex, to internet browsing or to any number of other activities. What is difficult for people to grasp is that the addictive activity actually gives the addict the same high that an addictive substance would to a substance addict.

The way that process addictions work is as follows. When the addict discovers that a certain action or series of actions that they take gives them immense pleasure, their brains make a particular note of how that pleasure was achieved so that they can return to the process repeatedly. The scientific explanation of their pleasure feeling is the brain chemical dopamine. This chemical is released in the brain every time a person experiences pleasure. The interesting part is there is very little difference between the dopamine release achieved through substance use and the dopamine release achieved through acting on a process. Though people’s addictions are diverse, what they are addicted to on a chemical level is dopamine, and there is equal potential for addiction to substances and to processes.

Process addictions, like substance addictions, are more harmless when they begin than they are when they have really taken a hold of a person’s life. A severe process addiction can jeopardize a person’s finances, health, relationships and┬ávocations. For instance, say someone is addicted to shopping online – the combination of an internet addiction and a shopping addiction. They are going to wreck their finances with their inability to control their spending. They are going to isolate themselves from their relationships due to their undependable nature. They are going to damage their posture and their muscles sitting in front of a computer screen constantly. And they are going to lose respect of their colleagues because of their mental unhealthiness.

Drug Addiction

drug addictionDrug addiction does not discriminate based on class, gender or age. It can be found in every demographic and can strike individuals from any social or cultural group. But can similarities be found between drug addicts? Is there any way to qualify the factors that lead a person to succumb to drug addiction? While the quanitfying of addiction’s contributing factors is not an exact science, medical research would suggest that there are common, observable factors that increase a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs.

The most frequently observed contributors to drug addiction are a person’s environmental factors and genetics. When a person’s support system tolerates or encourages drug use, they are more likely to become addicted at some point in their life, and genetic predipositions to drug addiction have regularly been observed, especially in the case of drug abuse being multigenerational.

More often than not, when a person is succeptible to drug addiction, they have other psychological disorders as well, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, depression or anxiety, and the drug use becomes a way of self medicating. The point in an addict’s life when they discover the drug plays a part in their addiction, as certain life phases are more prone to addiction than others.

Other factors that influence an addict’s struggle with drug abuse may be gender (men are twice as likely as women to become addicted to drugs), peer pressure to try any number of substances, and absent family members who provide weak support and guidance.

Drug addiction treatment centers are available to individuals who feel they may need drug rehabilitation, and it is highly recommended that anyone who feels they may have a drug addiction to reach out for help.

Inpatient Rehab

inpatient rehab

The purpose of an inpatient addiction treatment facility is to put an addicted person into a protected environment where they cannot access the substance they are addicted to. A recovering addict will live on-site in the rehabilitation center to undergo treatment. This allows the individual to focus completely on their recovery in a safe, supervised environment with the help of mental health and medical professionals. The program’s length, methods and resources all have a bearing on how successful the inpatient rehabilitation is.

Statistics indicate that the inpatient residential model of rehabilitation is the most successful treatment for addiction available, and most private rehab centers are similar. The detoxification process comes first for substance abusers to restore the individuals body back to a healthy state. Often the person’s body will be so reliant on the substance that withdrawal symptoms may come with severe health risks. Licensed inpatient rehabs should have a medical professional available to monitor the individual, or be able to refer them to a medical facility for the duration of their detoxification process.

The substance abuse treatment program that follows is typically focused on the psychological problems that influence the person’s addictive behavior. Programs vary depending on the philosophies of the particular rehab, but the standard inpatient rehab will incorporate counseling, group activities, therapeutic activities and life coaching. The program will often be tailored to the patient’s needs and will include material that addresses the person’s individual biochemical and psychological problems.

Residential rehabs can vary in their approach to recovery through the institution’s philosophies. For a recovering addict who is interested in organic living, natural remedy inpatient programs are available. Religious inpatient programs are common and combine the benefits of a spiritual lifestyle with the psychological foundations of recovery. There are also programs designed specifically for certain age and gender groups, as well as income brackets and lifestyles.

Addiction