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Why Do People Get Addicted to Something

addiction behavior recovery Feb 23, 2023

There are many reasons why people get addicted to something. Sometimes, it might be because the individual is seeking a sense of pleasure or euphoria. In other cases, it might be because the person is trying to self-medicate to deal with underlying emotional issues. Whatever the reason, addiction is a real problem that can have devastating consequences for the individual and their loved ones. This blog post will explore the different reasons people become addicted to things.

Risk factors for addiction

Addiction is a severe problem that can affect many of us. It happens once we crave or do something compulsively until it becomes a habit. Most people will probably associate addiction with alcohol, drug abuse, or smoking. Still, it's possible to have an addiction to something else, like social media, video games, watching TV shows, and just about anything else that can make us compulsively do them. There are various reasons someone may become addicted to something, and it is essential to identify them to address the problem. We can more effectively help those that need recovery from addiction if we know why someone is experiencing it.

1. Changes in the brain

Addiction can be challenging to overcome due to changes in an individual's brain. Getting addicted is not just about turning something into a habit; it alters how our brain releases dopamine, a molecule associated with pleasure. Addictive drugs, alcohol abuse, smoking, and other things or activities that can cause addiction can affect our brain's reward center and have us experience pleasure faster than other things. In addition, the addictive thing or activity can eventually become a learned behavior, making it more challenging to pull away from the addiction.

2. Something becomes a learned behavior

Addiction doesn't only form due to something becoming a habit; it rewires the reward circuit in our brains, so our minds become conditioned to do something to experience a pleasure. It becomes a learned behavior that we receive some reward for doing something. We become enticed to do or engage in something regularly, turning it into a habit beyond what our bodies dictate. As stated in this article, there's a scientific basis for how addiction affects the dopamine release in our brains and how we become obsessed with an activity or something. Once addiction develops, it becomes automatic for us to indulge in something difficult to overcome.

3. Compensation for lack of something

Pleasure is the most common thing one gets from being addicted to something. As we have said above, addictive things can help us experience pleasure faster by changing how our brain works. This idea is why some of us may prefer getting addicted to something because other means of acquiring the desired effect may take longer or none. For example, we know that fulfilling long-term goals can bring lasting happiness and fulfillment once we achieve them; however, it can take a long time before such feelings happen, and we may face hardships and challenges along the way. Some may feel discouraged and lose hope over the possibility of acquiring such positive emotions, so they resort to quicker methods of attaining such feelings, which addictive things like drug addiction can bring. Another example is that somebody may expect to feel happy and fulfilled by being in a relationship with someone. Still, suppose they feel more stress being together with someone and ending in a toxic relationship. In that case, they may resort to addictive activities like substance abuse or drinking too much alcohol to compensate for what they were expecting to get from the relationship.

4. Addiction as a coping method

Addictions can serve as a coping mechanism whenever we feel down due to the stresses of everyday life. Of course, there are proper ways of coping, like asking for support from others or engaging in healthier activities like exercising or taking a break. Still, every person is different, and they can have their way of coping. Unfortunately, some turn to unhealthy coping methods, such as addictive substances or spending too much time doing something that takes away our productivity, like watching TV or playing games. People may not know how to overcome or recover from failures and problems, so they may resort to something that can make them happy quickly, and addictions can satisfy that.

5. Mental health disorders

People with mental health problems like depression can be more prone to getting addicted. Mental health issues can arise when somebody has poor social support networks or has been subjected to many hardships without getting the proper help and resolution for their challenges. As a result, they may develop mental disorders that put them at higher risk of turning to addiction to feel better. They may resort to drug and alcohol use or anything that's not beneficial but takes away a lot of time and energy to escape from reality and drown the negative feelings. However, one will not become better from doing such things but will worsen the situation by the addictions affecting your health and not solving your problems.

6. Curiosity and peer pressure

Some people become addicted to something out of curiosity and peer pressure, especially when young. Teens can have this adventurous spirit, and their friends may goad them to try something they do, which they may or may not know of the negative consequences they can bring, such as trying to smoke for the first time or taking alcoholic drinks. It becomes worse when such activities become a habit and carries over until adulthood.

On the other hand, adults can also become addicts anytime the moment they try something out of curiosity and pressure, especially when no one's around to reprimand them for their actions and are not getting the proper support to deal with things once they become problematic.

Take action before something becomes an addiction.

Recovering from an addiction is a challenging process. It can worsen one's health the longer one engages in it, and even if someone manages to overcome it, there is always the chance they may go back to their addiction again when the right triggers are in place. Therefore, it is essential to notice the signs that someone is addicted to something, such as habitually doing or engaging in something, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the addictive thing is removed or taken away from the person, or suspecting suspicious action such as lying or hiding such addictive behaviors. You may notice them in others or even in yourself, so the moment you see them, you should take action and get help. Left untreated, addictions can devastate someone's mind and health, so somebody should get all the treatment they deserve to overcome an addiction and prevent relapse once they overcome it.

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