Types and treatment of addictions

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Types and treatment of addictions
Types and treatment of addictions

The concept of addiction, definition and description of addictive behavior. The main manifestations and classification of addictions that are most common. Approaches to the treatment and prevention of addiction. Addiction is an obsessive addiction to something or the need to perform certain actions to satisfy one's own desires and needs. Moreover, this state eventually reaches the level of dependence. Addiction is characterized by gradual development and habituation. To maintain the satisfaction effect, the person needs to increase the dose or the degree of fulfillment each time.

Description and mechanism of development of addictions


Addiction formation of any kind begins with an annoying desire that must be gratified immediately. After that, the person feels much better. Over time, a reflex is formed, which requires immediate implementation.

Originally, the term "addiction" was used to denote dependence on any chemical substance. At the pathophysiological level, irreversible reactions took place, which included a foreign product in the metabolism. That is why it is extremely difficult to get rid of such addiction. This requires a comprehensive intervention on the part of the human psyche and his somatics. Recently, non-chemical variants have begun to be called addictions. For example, a person's attachment to gambling or online games, chatting on the Internet and many others. Scientific and technological progress is gradually developing more and more enticing activities that find among the users of their addicts. The mechanism for the formation of addiction is slightly different in each specific form, but its essence remains the same. A person goes through several stages, which gradually aggravate his addiction to irreversible.

So, the main stages of the development of addiction:

  • First attempts … At this stage, a person is just starting to try. For example, with a constant need for a psychoactive substance, first study its effects, influence on mental processes and positive aspects. A person tries to use it at different times of the day and mixing it with other substances.
  • Habit … At the second stage, the intake of any psychotropic drug or the performance of the action becomes more frequent, and a rhythm is developed. The person is drawn into it and lays down in his usual daily routine. That is, he gets used to the presence of such an addiction in his life and does not feel any negative impact at all.
  • Addictive behavior … It begins to form precisely at the third stage. Each person has their own method of responding to troubles or problems. For people with addiction, their habit at this stage becomes the only way out of the prevailing circumstances. For example, if a person is addicted to smoking, he will reach for a cigarette every time during stress, while completely not understanding the meaninglessness and ineffectiveness of his actions.
  • Addiction … At this stage, a person's addiction is firmly fixed in the psyche and metabolism. It is no longer perceived as a method for solving problems, but rather as a way of life. A person accepts his habit and never part with it, which leaves an imprint on all areas of activity. For example, if this is gambling addiction, then time will be carved out for her from family, work and rest. Addiction becomes a part of life.
  • Degradation … This stage is marked by the complete destruction of criticism of one's own state. Addiction causes irreversible changes in somatic health, the functioning of organs and systems is disrupted, and serious illnesses appear. In addition, the mental sphere suffers greatly. First of all, the changes concern will, intelligence and cognitive functions, then - emotions and perception. A person degrades and is capable of aggression, violence and other variants of antisocial behavior.

Causes of addiction

Family problems
Family problems

Most often, it is the combination of unfavorable factors around that is the reason for the development of addictions. Therefore, addiction can be called a multifactorial disorder.

Depending on the mechanism of addiction formation, there are groups of reasons that can cause such addictions:

  1. Internal immaturity … If a person is not formed as a person and there are a lot of unresolved psychological problems inside, such a state is extremely susceptible to addictions. This occurs most often in adolescents who have not yet established their own internal framework for behavior, but are only looking for the boundaries of what is permissible. Often, the cause of the development of addiction can be internal experiences, complexes, stress and even a sensitive nature.
  2. Social insecurity … The absence of any rules in society, which everyone must adhere to, the unfavorable situation in the country, the living environment, which requires getting used to injustice from a young age, brings up an extremely sensitive person. In this state, it is easy for him to get used to some method of relaxation and satisfaction, which will gradually turn into addiction.
  3. Family problems … For a person to learn how to properly solve difficult situations and get out of them without stress, he needs experienced guidance and a positive example. If in the family where he grew up, it was considered normal to have some kind of addiction, the child, when he grows up, will set the same limits of acceptable behavior and will follow them. Parents or guardians should always be an example for children, because they look up to them. The presence of such addictions in the family increases the risk of developing such in children.
  4. Strong effect … This etiology is often found in people who have undergone severe shock or stress and a single dose or action helped to quickly get out of this state. Often such addictions develop without the desire of the person himself, but simply by coincidence. For example, pain relievers are prescribed for severe injuries. Over time, the patient gets used to them, since without these means, the state of health artificially deteriorates. People associate primarily with the primary disease (trauma), and not with addiction, although this is most often the second option.

Manifestations and types of addiction

Drug use
Drug use

Attachment manifests itself in different ways for each individual person. This applies to both timing and specific features. Depending on the stage of development and the type of addiction, these can be both minor addictions and serious diseases.

The most common varieties should be considered:

  • Addiction … Naturally, the systematic uncontrolled use of potent psychoactive substances causes both psychological and physical dependence. Narcotic drugs are included in human metabolism, and their absence causes withdrawal symptoms, which are manifested by pronounced somatic symptoms, including pain. That is why the person continues to use the drug. Even after the formation of tolerance, it simply increases the dosage.
  • Alcoholism … Alcohol abuse is a fairly common habit that over time provokes the development of many somatic diseases. Of course, not only the intake of strong alcoholic beverages can develop into alcoholism. Consuming wine, beer, or other low-grade liquids on a regular basis can also lead to addiction. The need to increase the dosage gradually increases until alcoholization causes either mental degradation or significant physical damage.
  • Nicotine addiction … Despite the active social propaganda about the dangers of smoking, this habit remains with many. In addition to nicotine, cigarettes contain many different additives that negatively affect the human body. Often times, people start smoking during times of stress, thereby forming a persistent habit. At the next stage of pathogenesis, a person smokes without a specific reason, the addiction is firmly established in the daily routine and is included in physiological metabolism.
  • Game addiction … This is a kind of psychological dependence, which is based only on a persistent desire to join the virtual world or experience excitement. Most modern programs have quite colorful and realistic graphics, the simulator is designed in such a way as to add more and more. Individuals with weak volitional qualities and a desire to escape from real problems are easily involved in the game. It becomes an obligatory part of life, as if a parallel dimension, where a person can embody his own ambitions and realize all desires.
  • Love addiction … Much less common, but still there is a pathological attachment to a particular person. This is most often found among fans of the famous idol. They idealize the object of their affection and are unable to treat the life of that person pragmatically. The development of such addiction occurs in the same way as in similar cases. At first, the addiction is limited to periodic viewing of photos / videos or conversations, then it develops into a pathological desire to see nearby, which comes to persecution.
  • Food addiction … Food preferences are a natural feature of every person, but sometimes the desire to just eat becomes stronger than the physiological need. This is how bulimia develops. At the same time, a person feels much better after eating. This also includes the downside of bulimia - anorexia. A person feels discomfort from eating and increasingly refuses to eat.

Ways to combat addiction

The main condition for an effective fight against addiction is full awareness of the pathological nature of one's condition. Only those who fully accept their problem and are ready for treatment will be able to get rid of addiction. Today, there are several areas of therapy that are used in such cases. The choice of a specific method is made by the attending physician.


Vitamin C
Vitamin C

For most chemical addictions, medications are used to cleanse the body of psychoactive or narcotic substances, including alcohol. It is categorically impossible to start addiction therapy without prior detoxification.

Usually, drugs used to treat addictions target specific psychoactive substances, thereby discouraging the desire to use them. If a person is under the influence of narcotic drugs (or any other), therapy will be not only ineffective, but also harmful to health. Detoxifying agents are necessarily supplemented with vitamins B and C, which will help the body recover after taking various drugs. In addition, hepatoprotectors are used if liver dysfunctions are observed.

Detoxification must be carried out in a hospital under the supervision of the attending physician. Only after its beginning, work with a psychologist and other psychotherapeutic techniques are allowed.


Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy

The concept of addiction is, first of all, psychological dependence. The problem is not only in metabolism, but also in the persistent habit of using certain drugs or performing certain actions. That is, a persistent psychological attitude is formed, which is extremely difficult to overcome on your own. Most often, in such cases, they seek help from relatives or specialists.

Directions of psychotherapy to combat addictions:

  1. Auto-training … This type of psychotherapy is more suitable for those who have retained logical thinking and willpower. That is, to perform auto-training tasks, you must have excellent motivation and a real desire to get rid of addiction. Unfortunately, this is very rare. Already at 3 stages of the development of addiction, criticism of one's own state is lost and self-control no longer allows one to get rid of addiction with the help of auto-training. In some cases, it is still used as an additional method of therapy.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy … Sessions with an experienced professional in a relaxed atmosphere will help create additional motivation and outside help, which is so necessary in most cases. The psychotherapist, together with the person, discusses the specific prerequisites for the development of addiction. Then he develops models of behavior that will be applied in problem cases. The object of work in this type of psychotherapy is human behavior, which lends itself to all kinds of criticism and correction to form the optimal option.
  3. Help from loved ones … It is much easier to deal with addiction if there are people nearby who are not indifferent to the person's condition. Sometimes it is not the addicts themselves who seek qualified help, but their relatives, friends, family. They sincerely worry about the health of a loved one and are able to provide all kinds of assistance in the treatment of addiction. Also, with the help of loved ones, additional motivation is created.

Social prevention

Healthy lifestyle
Healthy lifestyle

Modern society begins to fight addiction even at the stage of prevention. This is extremely important as social conditions play an important role in the formation of addiction.

There are several approaches to such prevention:

  • Observation … This function is assigned to educational and educational institutions. Experienced teachers are engaged not only in teaching their subject, but also in observing the behavior of the younger generation. It is they, in addition to parents and loved ones, who can notice the slightest changes in the psyche of a teenager or child.
  • Information … Awareness is an important step in the prevention of addictions. With the help of radio, television, the press and even wall newspapers, propaganda of a healthy lifestyle is heard. People are told about the possible consequences of addictions and even shown with examples. Possible solutions to the problem, helpline telephone numbers and other ways out of this situation are also reported.
  • Upbringing … It is imperative to take into account also the pedagogical correction of the views of each person, which is carried out in the early years and remains for life. In order for a person in the future to be able to cope with the upcoming difficulties, to easily solve problems and not to succumb to addictions, it is necessary to formulate the correct life image from childhood. It is necessary to teach the child to work on himself and manage his life without the help of psychotropic drugs, to steadfastly perceive difficulties and not give up. This is the only way to educate people who are not prone to the formation of addictions and dependence.

What is addiction - watch the video:

Many addictions have penetrated the lives of modern people so imperceptibly that they do not pose a threat at all until they begin to progress. Unfortunately, in the later stages, it is almost impossible to deal with addiction on your own. The earlier the appropriate therapy is started, the better the chances of recovery.