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Addiction is a broad term, which is used to describe an entire process by which people become dependent on a particular substance or behavior in order to.
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Relapse is now regarded as part of the process, and effective treatment regimens address prevention and management of recurrent use. Since success tends not to occur all at once, any improvements are considered important signs of progress.

What is drug addiction?

Increasingly, programs are available to help those who recognize they have a substance-use problem but are not ready for complete abstinence. Treatment can include any of a number of components, and they are often deployed in combination. Moreover, one feature of a good treatment program is regular monitoring of individual progress and it is likely that the components of treatment will change over the course of recovery.

No one way is right for everyone, and there is evidence that the commitment to change is more important than the type of treatment program. Whatever the treatment under consideration, say independent researchers, there are number of features to look for to identify an effective program. The medical world currently views substance use disorders according to the class of drug that is used.

As a result, it defines 10 separate substance use disorders. All of the disorders share the defining features of addiction—they directly and intensely involve reward and reinforcement systems of the brain, stimulating compulsive use that typically leads to the neglect of normal activities and negative consequences. With some variation, they also share common symptoms, although withdrawal symptoms differ significantly among them and do not occur for some classes of drug hallucinogens and inhalants.

Smoking , Alcoholism , Compulsive Behaviors. Addiction is not limited to biochemical substances such as cocaine, alcohol, inhalants, or nicotine. It can involve behaviors that provide opportunities for immediate reward. In June , the World Health Organization included Gaming Disorder, involving digital gaming or video gaming to a degree that it takes priority over other interests and daily activities despite negative consequences, in its newest edition of the International Classification of Diseases. The inclusion of Gaming Disorder reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions around the world.

They point out that only a tiny proportion of those who engage in digital or video gaming activities—notably those who have impaired control over the activity and spend excessive amounts of time at it—are at risk for the diagnosis. In the United States, excessive behavior patterns—involving smartphone use, Internet gambling, gaming, pornography , even eating and shopping—are under study as a behavioral addiction. While such activities provide the opportunity for ample immediate reward, it has not yet been determined that they meet all the criteria for addictive behavior.

By Mark E. Jaffe M. Lost amidst the headlines of more opioid deaths is another terrifying side to the story: how many uneducated medical practitioners prescribe deadly drugs without second thoughts. Expectant moms with opioid use disorder may fear seeking much-needed treatment.

By Joseph Nowinski Ph. Have a loved one entering rehab? Know what they and you are getting into. By Susan McQuillan M.

Am I Addicted to Sex?

A long-debated concept, some experts say food can have addictive qualities similar to drugs; others say evidence is lacking. Do you know a boy or man who has been traumatized? Proven practical strategies and therapeutic methods can help him heal, grow, and tap into his natural resilience. By Eugene Rubin M.

An important study indicates that alcohol and drug use are major contributors to the overall burden of disease worldwide. The use of the term "toxic shame" was first introduced in the s by Sylvan Tomkins, an American psychologist and theorist. Even when the Department of Defense gets the potential of psychedelic therapy for service-related psychiatric problems right, they still get it wrong. By Ty S. Schepis Ph. Understanding what fentanyl is, why it is so dangerous, and why simply restricting prescription opioid access will not solve the overdose problem.

By Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary Ph.


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Process Addiction

True or False: If you hate fruit and vegetables, you'll never be able to permanently lose weight. Read this to see why. By Lloyd I Sederer M. These films speak powerfully to all of us interested in mental health, addiction, families, and child development. By Robert C. Smith M. How do individuals contribute to societal mental health stigma? By Stanton Peele Ph.

Addiction: Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Samoon Ahmad, M. Eugene Ru bin , M. Louis - School of Medicine. Judson Brewer MD, Ph. According to the DSM-5, gambling disorder is characterized by a persistent and recurrent gambling behavior that leads to personal distress and problems in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. Hoarding disorder and trichotillomania are behavioral addictions that are classified in the DSM-5 as obsessive-compulsive disorders. Hoarding is a persistent difficulty in parting with physical possessions, regardless of its value, the space one has, the need for money, a safe living environment, or other resources.

Trichotillomania is another process addiction that is labeled as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Kleptomania—the impulse to steal items—is classified in the DSM-5 as an impulse-control disorder and is defined as the recurrent failure to resist stealing objects, especially objects that are not necessary for use or monetary gain. While gaming, internet, porn, sex, food, and shopping addictions are not officially APA-verified conditions, many experts believe that they should be included in the DSM.

Researchers are continuing to work on developing standard criteria for identifying these other behavioral addictions. And, although these addictions are not included in the DSM-5, many reputable inpatient, outpatient, individual, and group treatment options for these behavioral addictions are available. Several different types of behavioral addiction treatment facilities are available , including state-funded, nonprofit, and privately owned rehabilitation facilities.

Comparing Substance Addictions with Compulsive Behaviors

The decision about which type of treatment facility to choose depends on whether you plan to use health insurance, where you are located, where you want to complete your treatment, and what sort of addiction you are working to overcome. Some treatment facilities specialize in one particular kind of addiction such as gambling addiction , while others offer various programs or an all-inclusive program to treat people with a variety of different addiction struggles. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a therapeutic modality that focuses on teaching the client how to identify and change negative behaviors.

In the case of OCD, therapy sessions may encourage the client to expose himself to the object of fear without performing anxiety-reducing rituals. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the irrational anxiety associated with specific situations or items. Antidepressant drugs have been used successfully to minimize the symptoms of OCD. A class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs has proven to be especially effective at treating this complex disorder. Many clients who begin pharmacological treatment for OCD find that they are able to concentrate more fully on their recovery if they are also taking medication and undergoing behavioral modification therapy.

Building a strong support network is essential for clients who struggle with OCD and addiction. Both of these conditions can isolate the individual from family members, partners and peers. Social withdrawal only makes the symptoms of an anxiety disorder more severe. In an integrated Dual Diagnosis rehab program, clients have the opportunity to talk with other people who are battling the same symptoms.

Members of structured support groups can share their experiences, give each other hope and discuss effective coping strategies for dealing with obsessive thoughts. Educating loved ones is another vital component of Dual Diagnosis recovery. To a spouse, child or parent, OCD may seem like a baffling, frustrating condition.


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Family members often wonder why someone with OCD insists on repeating apparently senseless behaviors. Counseling sessions and educational courses can help family members understand the compulsive, uncontrollable nature of OCD. Secrecy is often a hallmark sign of OCD, and one that makes for additional complications in treating the disorder. People with OCD are experts in keeping their disorder hidden; therefore, it remains out of the reach of loved ones to identify the problem and assist in seeking out help.

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Too often, by the time the individual does seek out professional help, the illness is in a much more advanced state, and the habits associated with it are more deeply ingrained. When an individual with OCD becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they often keep their substance abuse a secret as well. Therefore, by the time friends and family realize what is going on, the process will likely be in a very advanced state.

A Dual Diagnosis applies to any individual who meets the criteria for a substance use disorder and a mental health condition.