What Does Addiction Mean?
According to the Oxford dictionary, addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.” According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic medical disease involving complicated communications between brain circuits, an individual’s genetics, environment, and life experiences. It is treatable. Lastly, addiction causes people to use substances or partake in activities that become compulsive and often have harmful consequences.
Today, we’ll talk about two addictions and their treatments.
Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a disease that affects the brain and behavior. Addicts are unable to control the use of drugs or medication. Alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine are also considered drugs. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, there have been 700K overdose deaths in the US since 2000.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Most people get addicted to drugs due to peer pressure in social situations where drugs are present. As time passes, their drugs use becomes more frequent. So how do you know if someone is addicted to drugs? The most common symptoms include:
- Bloodshot eyes, bad breath
- Frequent bloody noses
- Losing/Gaining weight
- Neglected appearance
- Behavioral changes
- Money issues
Causes and Risk Factors of Drug Addiction
The two most common causes of drug addiction are: Environment and Genetics
Environment: People who have a peer group that encourages drug use can become addicts. Genetic traits can also influence the development of an addiction. It also determines how long it takes to recover.
Drug addiction is more likely if you have:
- A family history of addiction
- A mental health disorder
- Peer pressure
- No family involvement
Treatments Facilities for Drug Addiction
There are excellent facilities like Palm Beach Institute available for drug addiction treatments. They have their offices located across the country, offering care for drug addicts. They provide care with “multiple phases, from long-term residential care to post-treatment support with our alumni program.”
- Long-Term Residential Program: After detox, patients will live in the facility and attend daily meetings and individual and group counseling sessions.
- Outpatient Program: Once patients finish their residential program, outpatient programs are available to help them transition back into everyday life.
- Addiction Recovery Alumni Program: After completing the treatment, alumni of the recovery program stay connected through the alumni program. It helps them stay sober, find housing, and employment through regular meetings, events, and activities.
Porn addiction is when you can not stop watching porn, despite wanting to. It often interferes with your work, personal relationships, and other parts of your life.
It is a widespread problem across the country due to the easy access to porn. According to WebMD, a famous porn site: PornHub, recorded 42 billion users in 2019. That is 115 million users every day.
Is it an Addiction?
There’s a debate amongst scientists about whether porn is an addiction or not. The World Health Organization classified compulsive sexual behavior as a mental disorder in 2018. It refers to any repetitive sexual activities that become the primary focus of an individual, to the point that they start neglecting their health, life interests, or responsibilities.
Signs of Porn Addiction
People who regularly watch porn have intense cravings for sex. Whenever there is a struggle at home or work that makes them anxious, they watch porn to relieve themselves. Some experts link heavy porn usage with unhappy relationships.
So the question is, how much porn is too much?
According to experts, when it gets in the way of your day-to-day activities, you are watching too much.
Some of the signs of porn addiction are:
- It becomes your primary focus. You ignore your hobbies for porn.
- Ignoring personal care, hygiene
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Loss of interest in social encounters
- Negative effect on your job or schoolwork
- Watching porn at work or school
- Unfulfilling sex life
- Cravings for more
- Consumption of porn lasting six months or more
- Failure to quit
Causes and Risk Factors of Porn Addiction
There is no clear set of causes for porn addiction. It is due to the controversy surrounding porn addiction in the medical/mental health community. However, some clues may help us understand what causes compulsive sexual behavior.
- High levels of chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine may cause addiction to porn.
- Changes in brain pathways. Meaning you will have to watch porn repeatedly to get the same level of enjoyment
- Brain diseases like epilepsy, dementia, and dopamine treatment for Parkinson’s damages the part of the brain that controls sexual behavior.
Porn addiction is more likely if you have:
- Drug or alcohol addictions.
- Family members who have addictions
- Conflict in the family.
- Gambling addiction.
- Physical or sexual abuse.
- Ease of access and privacy.
Treatment and Home Remedies of Porn Addiction
There is help for those looking to break this habit. The go-to treatment for compulsive sexual behavior is psychotherapy. Other treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of psychotherapy. You talk to a mental health professional to identify problems and solve them.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy: a type of CBT. the first step involves embracing your urges and not feeling guilty over them. The second step is to remain committed to the first step and face your problems head-on.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy. It helps you become more aware of your unconscious thoughts and behaviors. In addition, you learn about your motivations and resolve conflicts.
Other treatments include medications. Antidepressants, naltrexone (Vivitrol), mood stabilizers, and anti-androgen medications can help control the brain chemicals that cause obsessive thoughts and actions. In addition, there are self-help and support groups that can help. These groups have people who can understand your situation. You might even get referred to a mental health professional trained to help with porn addiction.
Addiction is a widespread problem. It is tough to deal with all on your own. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, seek help through the treatments mentioned in this article. Even after receiving treatment, you can relapse. So, stay connected to your recovery circle, and talk to people closest to you when you feel you are about to relapse.
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