Addiction Treatment

Addiction compared to Substance Abuse and Dependency

Addiction Definition

Addiction is one of the most controversial terms in the diagnostic literature.  It is defined very differently by various professions and from different theoretical orientations within the same field.  Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, nicotine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and many other substances are considered addictive.  A wide variety of behaviors or activities have also been labeled as addictive.  Examples include gambling, compulsive shopping (aka retail therapy), binge eating, overeating, compulsive internet use, pornography addiction, sex addiction, or even exercise.  However, these do not adhere to the standards some use to define addiction.  Some experts that address these issues may even prefer terms of compulsions or abuse, which complicates matter.

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Addiction is any behavior (which could be the ingestion of a substance), which is highly reinforcing (i.e., extremely pleasurable and/or removes aversive states, such as anxiety, worries, self-criticism, or physical pain) to the point that once the individual realizes it is ultimately self-destructive, but, seemingly cannot stop, despite having the “will.”  Although addictive behaviors can be harmful in a small amount, most become more problematic if the frequency or intensity becomes extreme.

Substance Abuse and Alcohol Treatment

There are many different theories of addiction and treatments for addiction.  12 Step Programs, biological/pharmaceutical interventions, and religious interventions are all common.

Treatment Areas

  • Alcohol
  • Adderall
  • Heroin
  • Tobacco and Smoking
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Behavioral Addictions