Five Ways To Deal With Addiction

Studies have shown that addiction, apart from being a brain disorder, is as complex and life-threatening as some long-term chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension or even emphysema. However, research has also shown that though it is tough to kick off a bad habit, there are plenty of steps that one can take to access the path of recovery.

Understanding Addiction

Before we get down to the different types of addiction and their treatment, it is important to know a few elements of the disease and how it affects the human brain.

Addiction is not classified as a personal failing, but rather as a disease that can have a serious impact on the brain. Compulsions, cravings and the inability to stop, all point to some type of a bad habit or the other.

When we talk about addiction, most people relate it to substance abuse, which is not entirely correct. Though tobacco and alcohol are some of the types commonly linked to addiction, there could be hundreds of other addictions which have been recognized, both scientifically or medically.

Understanding addiction is therefore a complex issue. More than the type of addiction one is inflicted with, what matters most is to identify the underlying problem that causes the patient to seek a feeling of pleasure, despite knowing about its adverse consequences.

These adverse effects, as a result of addiction, could include financial problems, conflict with family members and a destructive behaviour which invariably stems up due to the combination of all these things.

Types Of Addiction

Addiction has been classified by most experts to be of two types, physical or behavioural, both often going hand in hand in some cases.

Behavioural Addiction: While all experts may not agree on this, there are eight common habits most people get hooked on.

  • Gambling
  • Sexual cravings
  • Compulsive internet use
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Video game addiction
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (cosmetic surgery addiction)
  • Binge eating disorder or food addiction
  • Risky behaviour addiction

The bottom line is though not all the above habits are seen to be addictive, they share the social and psychological properties of behavioural addiction and can be completely cured by traditional addiction treatments.

Physical addiction: Physical addiction is generally linked to substances that we ingest or introduce in the body of a person. Some most commonly known causes include:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Prescription drugs
  • Hallucinogens
  • Amphetamines
  • Inhalants
  • PCP

Physical addiction is normally associated with consuming prescription drugs, alcohol and illicit drugs.

  • Prescription drug addiction, also referred to as painkiller addiction, has become a problematic issue all over the world today. As these prescribed pain relievers, like opioids, are made from opium, in addition to relieving the pain they give a feeling of euphoria. If not taken in the prescribed manner, they could lead a person to misuse, which often is the case with this type of addiction.
  • Alcohol addiction manifests in the form of binge drinking or regular heavy drinking. It usually begins with casual intake among friends and progresses further till the person is unable to live without it
  • Illicit drug addiction is caused by consumption of illicit drugs that have properties to alter the real perception by disrupting the functions of the brain and other organs, leading to severe addiction.

Five Ways To Deal With Addiction

While addiction is a treatable chronic disease, the recovery process is challenging to say the least. That said, once you have acknowledged that a change is needed, it means that you have identified the problem and have a desire to address it. Here are some ways to overcome your problem and get the resources that you need to be successful.

Reach Out For Social Support

For people living with addictions, it is tough to cement social relationships, as their relatives may shun you for your behaviour. Join a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous to work with a group of likeminded persons who can support you.

Seek Help Of Social Service Providers

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and need help in quitting it is a good idea to talk to a doctor or a local drug clinic. If you have other underlying issues such as anxiety and depression, a qualified health care provider will support you to navigate these challenges as well.


Certain behavioral therapies can help in changing the underlying thoughts that contribute to addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the best approach that focuses on all the issues that play a part in all types of addiction. CBT, when used to treat addictions, works by systematically recording thoughts and feelings and the causes that trigger these feelings.

Online Therapy

Many websites and apps offer addiction counselling online, with all the best online therapy sites offering specialized rehab programs. These services allow you to access therapy sessions from any place 24×7,which has a reliable telephone connection. They use CBT techniques to coach their patients, through subscription plans that include workshops and weekly video sessions.

Distract Yourself

Instead of giving in to an urge, try an alternate activity to take your mind off the urges. Go for a walk, talk with a family member, take up a new hobby, anything that will help in making the urge pass.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 25, 2023

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