Addiction means not having control over doing, taking or using something, to the point that it may be harmful.

 It is possible to become addicted to anything, from gambling to chocolate. One cannot control how he/she uses whatever he/she is  addicted to, and  become dependent on it to get through daily life.

Some people regularly use substances without any problems. Other people experience damaging psychological and physical effects as their habit turns into an addiction.

Being unable to control the use of a substance can also put a lot of strain on relationships with others and can cause problems at work, school or home.

Substance Addictions

    • Alcohol – for example, wine, beer, liquor
    • Amphetamine or similarly acting sympathomimetics – for example, speed, crystal meth
    • Benzodiazepines – for example, Xanax, Valium
    • Caffeine – for example, coffee, tea, sports drinks
    • Cannabis – for example, marijuana, grass, hash
    • Cocaine – for example, coke, crack
    • Hallucinogens – for example, acid, ecstasy
    • Inhalants – for example, poppers, aerosols
    • Nicotine – for example, cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patches
    • Opioids – for example, heroin, morphine, painkillers
    • Phencyclidine (PCP) or similarly acting agents – for example, angel dust, ketamine
    • Sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics – for example, sleeping pills, downers

Behavioral Addictions

    • Computer – for example, internet, video games, social networking sites, cybersex, online gambling
    • Eating – for example, overeating, binge eating
    • Exercise– for example, weight loss, sports
    • Gambling – for example, VLTs, casinos, slot machines
    • Gaming – for example, computer games
    • Sex – for example, porn, cybersex, multiple partners
    • Shopping – for example, spending, stealing
    • Work – for example, overwork, money, power

Causes of Addiction

No single factor can be said to cause addiction. People become addicted because of a combination of factors.

  • Genetic Factors

Though closely related, it is not so every time. Many people who have a genetic vulnerability to addiction do not become addicted, and others who do not have a family history of addiction may become addicted.

  • Feeling good about using drugs
  • Environment

To overcome humiliation on the grounds of-

  1. Culture differences
  2. Racial issues
  3. Gender identity
  4. Sexual orientation
  5. Under/overestimated ability
  6. Age
  • Mental health
      1. Anxiety
      2. Depression
      3. Severe stress
  • To get rid of boredom
  • Poverty

Symptoms and signs

  • Tolerance –The need to engage in addictive behavior more and more to get the desired effect
  • Withdrawal –This happens when the person does not take the substance or engage in the activity, and experience unpleasant symptoms, which are often the opposite of the effects of the addictive behavior
  • Difficulty cutting down or controlling the addictive behavior
  • Social, occupational, or recreational activities becoming more focused on the addiction, and important social and occupational roles are being jeopardized
  • The person becoming preoccupied with the addiction, spending a lot of time on planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior
  • Changes in energy – unexpectedly and extremely tired or energetic
  • Changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, odd cell phone conversations
  • Disturbed sleeping habit(more/less than usual at different hours)
  • Drug paraphernalia such as unusual pipes, cigarette papers, small weighing scales, etc.
  • Extreme mood changes – happy, sad, excited, anxious, etc.
  • Financially unpredictable, perhaps having large amounts of cash at times but no money at all at other times
  • Lying
  • Pupils of the eyes seem smaller or larger than usual
  • Repeated unexplained outings, often with a sense of urgency
  • Seeming unwell at certain times, and better at other times
  • Stashes of drugs, often in small plastic, paper or foil pack
  • Stealing
  • Unexpected and persistent coughs or sniffles
  • Unexplained Secret behavior
  • Weight loss or weight gain


Behavioral therapy/counseling            

  • Encourage and increase motivation for change from using an addictive drug
  • Help build skills to resist addiction-related activities
  • Improve interpersonal relationships, including the individual’s ability to function in the family and community
  • Improve problem-solving abilities
  • Replace addiction-related activities with more constructive and rewarding activities

Family therapy

The involvement of a family member in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend the benefits of the program.

How to prevent from being addicted

  • A positive adult role model (e.g., a parent, relative, or teacher)
  • Good parental or other caregiver supervision
  • Attachment to family, school and community
  • Goals and dreams
  • Meaningful and well-supervised activities (e.g., sports, music, volunteer work).

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