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Is Behavioral Addiction the Same as Drug Addiction?

Is Behavioral Addiction the Same as Drug Addiction?

When it comes to behavioral abuse is it the same as drug addiction? In what way is it the same and in what way is it different?

Often, the word addiction means misuse of drugs and other substances. However, addiction is a broad concept, and beyond physical substances like alcohol and prescribed/illegal drugs, it spans into the psychological. Behavioral addiction explains this aspect in more detail. Nevertheless, do any differences between popularly known drug addiction and the less-talked-about behavioral addiction?

Is Behavioral Addiction the Same as Drug Addiction?

Drug Addiction: A Brief Outlook

Drug dependency affects the brain and behavior, resulting in the inability to control how a prescription medication or illegal drug is used. Individuals who have been diagnosed with this disease exhibit at least one of the following characteristics:

  • An inability to stop taking the medication. Often, such individuals believe they cannot function normally without the substance in their systems.
  • A tendency to give up social/recreational activities for the reason of wanting to satisfy their cravings. Drug-dependent individuals will often skip out on activities where access to their drug of choice is denied or limited, such as a camping trip or other sober gatherings.
  • Secrecy and denial: Many drug-dependent individuals keep their habit hidden from loved ones and refuse to show acknowledgment, even if confronted about it. At this point, interventions may be necessary to help them get into recovery.
  • Financial problems: This is often the case where the substance is costly or difficult to come by. Drug-dependent individuals may sometimes pawn off their assets and even those belonging to others in a bid to acquire their next supply.

The above list is not conclusive as other characteristics exist that define drug addiction. However, we will be considering behavioral addiction next.

The Concept of Behavioral Addiction

On the other hand, behavioral addiction does not rely on any physical substance. Rather, it relies on a particular type or set of behavior. A primary example is gambling addiction. This dependency is characterized by an unusual craving to gamble, with a wrong belief that it is a good financial investment.

Many physicians and scientists have argued against the notion of behavioral dependence since there is no physical substance on which the individual relies. Nevertheless, the phenomenon exists, and people facing it are seemingly on the increase each day. Other common examples of behavioral addiction are shopping, social media, pornography, gaming, and internet addictions.

How Similar are the Two Kinds of Addiction?

For a start, both are characterized by compulsive reliance on a particular subject. Typically, the affected individual exhibits uncontrollable cravings for the drug, as in drug addiction, and behavior for behavioral addiction. Also, suddenly quitting may result in withdrawal symptoms that could be mild, moderate, or severe. Finally, both kinds of dependency can receive comprehensive treatment at accredited recovery centers.

Start Drug Addiction Program at Evoke Waltham

Evoke Waltham is licensed and staffed with experienced, dedicated individuals. The facility provides distinct care programs for different kinds of addictions. Furthermore, these plans can be personalized according to each client’s unique requirements. Payment plans are also flexible and can be arranged by a single contact. Reach out to a recovery advocate today for further details.