All Questions Answered About Addiction

Addiction Questions

1Which addiction is the worst addiction?

Some of the hardest or worst addiction to quit includes-

  • Love – Can you believe that love is among the top 10 worst addiction to quit? It leads to more suicides and murders than other substance or behavioral addictions. What is stopping a person from leaving their abusive boyfriends or spouses? The common reply we usually get is, “I love him and the world is unimaginable without him”.
    Hence, love addicts are more dangerous in some ways than substance abusers.
  • Fast foods such as potato chips –  Munching on a bag full of potato chips is not considered as a grave addiction like drinking or smoking. The fact of the matter is a number of persons undergoing gastric bypass surgery are on the rise and we generally overlook these facts for our convenience.
    Instead of giving up these addictions completely, we simply seek short-term distractions like asking active smokers to pick up e-cigs in the place of regular nicotine cigarettes.

Are we bothered to understand that e-cigs too can cause serious health issues?

  • Cigarettes – In ratings by alcohol and marijuana addicts, smoking is mostly mentioned as the difficult drug to stop, on par with heroin. However, many have quit smoking and a sizeable portion of that group fall in the higher socioeconomic zone.
    Most of the quitters have never been part of any support group or taken any medical therapy.
  • Heroin – Strong analgesics are difficult for some ( but not many) to quit. Most of us would have been administered with intravenous narcotics in the hospital and continued with powerful analgesics as medicines for a quick recovery. At present, even more, worst drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin are available in the market and with a wide drug following their popularity is growing leaps and bounds.
    Moreover, people refuse to accept the fact it is possible to quit heroin and lead a near normal life. For example-  Popular baseball player Ron LeFlore took up baseball while in prison and overcame heroin addiction.
  • Valium – Pacifying drugs such as depressants taken for a long duration, are obviously hard to quit.  This holds true for tranquilizers,  barbiturates, sleeping pills, and sedatives. Many persons including top successful celebrities have described their addiction to valium or other benzodiazepine tranquilizers and the problems they faced after trying to quit from the same.
  • Alcohol – The most difficult and worst addiction according to many addicts is alcohol. Many treatment professionals claim that alcoholism can be cured only via treatment and nothing else.
  • Cocaine – Cocaine is usually referred to as an episodic-use substance or drug. Studying the effects of long-term use, experts found that many quits, controlled, or moderated their cocaine use over time. The researchers also came to a conclusion that those having very fewer resources have moved out of this habit within a very short span.

2Can addiction be cured?

The complicated nature of addiction makes it ultimately difficult to find “one solution for all problems” definitely impossible.

Across all platforms around the world, scientists are working very hard to find cures for addiction and their discoveries are hogging the limelight every now and then. But the reality is, the so-called disease called addiction is as complex as various other common ailments such as type-2 diabetes.

But the real question is can addiction be really cured and whether one solution for all problems is possible or not?

The reason 1- Are humans typically programmed for pleasure?

From taking synthetic meths to inhaling commercial glues, our society is working round the clock inventing fresh new things to get high. With time, a new drug will replace an existing one and this cycle keeps on repeating. The most important question is what drives this continuous craze for new drugs to get high?

The main motivator refers to the pleasure principle. The search for pleasure is a never-ending fundamental part of us, being human.  It is the main reason that pushes us towards our goals in life.

Drugs flood our brains by producing dopamine and tune us to crave for more. As a result, the natural production of dopamine in the body reduces. With continuous drug use, only craving remains while the pleasure dissipates. Thereby, drugs derail our natural drive to seek pleasure and in spite of knowing the fact that constant drug abuse diminishes pleasure, addicts stick to it.

The reason 2- we are not focused enough to fight pain

As long as we are wired to pleasure, the other side of the problem also remains intact. Avoiding pain can also be termed as an important cause of addiction. Turning to drugs to get out of hateful moods such as anger, fear, or sad is a point we need to address.

Finally, as long as humans are affected by various mental ailments such as mood disorder, and until such time where children and kids are not raised by alcohol addicted parents, self-medication to alleviate pain will continue.

The reason 3- Drug abuse is more than just drugs

Addiction is co-related with a powerful behavioral component.  People susceptible to addiction treat alcohol and drugs in a totally different way than normal people. They invariably seek the high and discard the pleasure associated with it. Moreover, other behaviors, rituals, and craving tied with addiction can continue in any form even after the addiction is stopped.

Why have the laws failed us?

The simple answer would be lack of application. Even if thousands are put in jail, there would still be countless who would go to any lengths to seek less pain or more pleasure, and drugs would show them the way.

What is the solution or cure for addiction?

There are countless medications and vaccines such as naloxone, which has the capacity to stop the pleasure effects caused by the drugs. This increases the chances of addicted persons to stay away from drugs for a long time.

The only way is to accept the fact that like other chronic diseases like diabetes, addiction is also here to stay.

Taking meaningful steps to address addiction is the first step in the right direction in addressing this monster called addiction.

3What are the types of addiction?

The various types of addiction can be anything from cocaine and alcohol to other behavioral addictions like stealing and gambling. Certain disorders are mentioned in *DSM-IV-TR and while others are usually identified by professionals.

Addiction is both behavioral and psychological. Addictions are normally characterized by an uncontrollable inability to stop drug usage, compulsion, craving, and a broken lifestyle.

The types of addictions can be classified into three types namely

  • Substance Addictions
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Behavioral Addictions

The list of substance addictions include

  • Various unspecified substances
  • Angeldust or PCP (Phencyclidine )
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Meth or Amphetamines
  • Marijuana or Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Anxiolytics such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills, hypnotics, and sedatives
  • Heroin or Opioids
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol

Impulse control disorders considered as addictions

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are certain disorders where the resistance to impulse is very weak; they are also recognized as addictions.

Some of the popular Impulse Control Disorders are

  • Gambling
  • Setting things or places on fire known as Pyromania
  • Compulsive stealing or Kleptomania
  • Assaultive acts and compulsive aggressive (intermittent explosive disorder)

The list of behavioral addictions include

  • Shopping
  • Cutting
  • Pain seeking behavior
  • Spiritual obsession (not religious devotion)
  • Exercising
  • Working
  • Playing video games
  • Non-stop use of computers / the internet
  • Pornography
  • Sex
  • Eating food

* = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Finally, it is quite difficult to exactly pinpoint all the addictions at once and we have mentioned some of them for your understanding.

4What are addiction recovery tools?

♥ Coping Skills – Coping skills allow you to healthily address and overcome the problems and situations that originally led you to drug abuse – negative emotions, a history of trauma, anxiety, stressful situations, a party-going lifestyle or pressure from other people in your life. These skills can be the recovery tools enabling healthy ways to manage your problems (without falling back on drugs or alcohol) and will be completely unique to you. Coping skills, for example, could be meditation or deep breathing.

♥ Healthful Hobbies Hobbies are an important part of your addiction recovery toolkit, as they serve as another outlet for relief from negative feelings and difficult drug cravings. By establishing new and meaningful hobbies early in your recovery, you can protect yourself from relapse.

♥ Exercise – One of the most important and accessible addiction recovery tools is physical exercise. Exercise offers drug-free relief from the negative feelings that accompany addiction, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. By exercising in moderation, your body will establish emotional equilibrium and you will begin feeling emotional, mentally, and of course physically well.

♥ A Balanced Diet Believe it or not, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is another key ingredient to addiction recovery. By eating right, you will feel both mentally and physically healthier. Your body will regain the nourishment it lost during your addiction, and you will find renewed strength and motivation in your day-to-day life.

♥ Downtime –  As much as it helps to fill your days with sober activities, exercise, and plans to keep busy, it is also important to save some time for yourself. As you move away from addiction, try not to overwhelm yourself with too much at once. Don’t feel bad about canceling plans if you need a mental health day; keeping some downtime to yourself is always okay, so long as drugs and alcohol stay out of the picture.

♥ A Sober Support Network – Rather than surrounding yourself with those who encourage your drug use, you must stay close to those who encourage your sobriety and support your substance-free lifestyle. These people will be positive, uplifting, and available during your times of need. They will understand when you say “no” to a party where there might be alcohol. They will understand when you are having a bad day.

♥ Meditation and Mindfulness –  A successful recovery requires a stable state of mind. Sometimes, however, intense cravings, prolonged withdrawal symptoms, and mental distress or health disorders can get in the way.

Mindfulness meditation, specifically, promotes multiple measures of well-being (such as positive immune function and reduced depression, stress, and emotional pain). It is a technique in which a person focuses the mind on the present moment, enabling them to observe their internal experience as it occurs, rather than react to it immediately. In addiction recovery, mindfulness can be used to better accept experiences and feelings as they occur, rather than suppress or modify them.

♥ Acceptance –  Acceptance is an addiction recovery tool that you may not have expected to make this list, but is a crucial tool for fighting against the toils of a substance use disorder. Acceptance allows you to come to terms with your previous choices, your situation, and to move forward with them. You may not have control over what happened in your past, but you do have the ability to change and shape a future.

♥ Goals –  Setting meaningful goals, and using them as addiction recovery tools, can help guide you through recovery. By holding them close, you constantly have something to look forward to, something to work towards, and something to prevent you from turning back to drugs.

♥ Therapy   Ongoing therapy is one of the greatest addiction recovery tools of all and one you should hold close long after your treatment program has ended. Especially if you struggle with negative emotions and inner turmoil, addiction therapy is a great relapse prevention tool and keeper of mental and emotional health. Therapy offers a safe, nonjudgmental, and confidential environment for you to discuss your feelings with a professional.

5Which addiction is the most dangerous?

This question does not invoke a simple reply. There are countless drugs and addictions in this world and comparing one with another to find the most dangerous of the lot is very difficult.

The list of addictive substances includes

  • Alcohol
  • Adderall or  Ritalin (prescription drugs)
  • Methamphetamine (stimulants)
  • Hydrocodone and OxyContin (painkillers)
  • Marijuana
  • Other opiates
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Crack cocaine
  • Cocaine

Other party drugs such as Rohypnol, LSD,  Ecstasy, and GHB are also part of the list of dangerous addictions.

The side effects can range from liver or heart failure to drug overuse. Legally available addictions like alcohol are also potentially dangerous.

So, how to decide which is the most dangerous drug?

The factors are

  • Ability to kill
  • The total amount of ruin and destruction caused by that drug in his life
  • The silent damage suffered by persons surrounding the addicts in the society

The most likely sufferers are children and spouses. An addict can cause serious injuries to the child around him and spouses can also be literally abused and attacked. Grievous mental and physical neglect and abuse are all part and parcel of those people living with an addict.

Multiple or polydrug abuse

In recent times, a person using alcohol is also using marijuana, Ecstasy, heroin, or cocaine. The polydrug abuse or use has become too wide and prevalent.

Persons on methadone treatment also tend to mix cocaine with their daily use. This act of theirs puts the central nervous system, the liver, and the heart under undue stress.

At times, addiction will become a reality only after a prolonged use of substance drugs such Adderall,  Ritalin, methamphetamine, or crack cocaine.

So, the most dangerous of all addictions would be the one that wrecks total havoc, the one that refuses to get away from their system. The patterns can simply vary because different people suffer from different weaknesses.

6Which addiction is most common?

Some of the most common addictions include

  • Job – According to stats, in Japan, more than 10,000 people lose their lives every year due to overworking. In reality, this problem is overlooked conveniently, while it is silently wrecking our lives and relationships.
  • Shopping – Due to compulsive shopping, people tend to get into depression or other mental troubles very easily. As per reports, 1% to 6% of the total population is affected by this issue.
  • Sex – Addiction to sex is not at all being kinky or about quantity. Sex addiction is recent days are also known as love addiction. A person addicted to sex will experience the same pattern of uncontrollable or unavoidable compulsions that other shopping, gambling, alcohol, or substance addicts feel. They suffer from self-image crisis.
    Sex addicts are not generally molesters.  More than 11%(combined) of men and women suffer from this addiction. Easy and quick access to pornography is the main reason for the tremendous growth of this problem among teenagers and youngsters.
  • Internet – Addiction to the internet is another growing phenomenon after the popularity of internet started to rise in the mid-nineties. The different types of internet addiction include information mining, gambling, shopping, social networking, cybersex, and gaming etc.
  • Video Games – A study has shown that around 45% of video game addicts are in the age group of 18 to 50. This addiction is linked to ADD (attention deficit disorder) and it can cause serious side-effects such as declining interest in studies, making them a loner and thereby affect their inter-personal and inter-social behavior. In many cases, it has also led to depression.
  • Binge eating or food – This disorder includes compulsive eating, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa. The emergence of the global food market, fast-food culture, and media advertisements contributes more numbers to this addiction.
  • Gambling – The most common types of gambling are
    1. Casino gambling
    2. Horse racing
    3. Bingo
    4. Fruit machines installed in pubs
    5. Lotteries and raffles
    6. Football pools
    7. Scratch cards or National lottery
  • ATS (Amphetamine-Type Stimulants) – There are around 15 to 20 countries in the world that happen to be ATS hotbeds and the use of Methamphetamine has become widespread and rampant there. According to WHO, the profound use and increased production of this drug are slowly turning into a national headache in many civilized countries.
  • Heroin – Heroin users are more prone to killer diseases like hepatitis and HIV. According to estimates, the number of heroin users around the world has crossed 9.2 million marks.
  • Cocaine – Crack cocaine and cocaine have affected at least 1 to 3% of people in many developed nations. Some of the side-effects of cocaine abuse include fetal exposure, violence, and spread of disease and crime.
  • Cannabis –  It is reportedly believed that around 2.5% of the total world population is addicted to cannabis. The cannabis addiction can cause disrupted fetal development, bronchial damage, exacerbate schizophrenia, mind and memory power. Other side-effects include impairment of physical performance and cognitive development.
  • Drugs – Prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin are causing more harm than known drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and cannabis etc. Children are getting addicted to volatile organic solvents such as nail polish remover, glues, paint, and at times even petrol or gas.
  • Tobacco – More than 1.3 billion deaths linked to tobacco are reported every year. Tobacco causes at least 4% of a person’s life years due to disability and 8.8% of deaths around the globe. It still is the world’s leading destructive addiction as per WHO reports.
  • Alcohol – As per reports furnished by WHO, it is connected to more than 50 patterns of injury and disease. It causes at least 1.8 million fatalities every year and the number is growing every year.
    Overall, these are some of the common addictions present worldwide.

7Which drugs cause addiction?

The world’s most addictive drugs are

  • OxyContin – One of the most dangerous synthetic opiate, OxyContin works overtime to increase the dopamine levels in the brain. At present, OxyContin is considered as a cheap alternative to heroin by many drug addicts.
  • MDMA or Molly – Molly or ecstasy or MDMA as it is called affects the norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitter systems. It is a psychoactive, synthetic drug.
    Molly addicts experience withdrawal symptoms such as lack of concentration, depression, appetite loss, and fatigue.
  • Heroin – Heroin causes numbness in the body and brain by affecting an area in the brain called as nucleus accumbens, eases the pain, and euphoria. According to estimates, more than 25% of first-time heroin takers have become addicts later in their lives.
  • Crystal Meth – Similar to cocaine, these drugs act on the norepinephrine and the dopamine-related neurotransmitters. Addicts usually suffer from severe depression, memory loss, hallucinations, and psychosis.
  • Crack Cocaine – Made using cocaine powder and baking soda, this is a cheap variety of cocaine and this has to be smoked to get high. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, agitation, and depression.
  • Cocaine – This directly deals with the dopamine system present in the brain, stopping the neurons from switching off the dopamine signal, thereby resulting in an extraordinary activation of reward center in the brain.
  • Alcohol – The world’s most omnipresent drugs, this has the capacity to certainly increase the dopamine content in animals by at least 40 to 360% according to researchers. More than 10.8 million are addicted to alcohol worldwide.
  • Barbiturates – Primarily used to induce sleep and treat anxiety, they can shut down certain regions of the brain.
    Low doses of barbiturates can lead to euphoria and higher can cause difficulty in breathing.
  • Nicotine – The main addictive content in tobacco, the lungs quickly absorb the nicotine and immediately transferred to the brain.

8Can addiction cause anxiety?

Yes. In humans, the limbic system is related to addiction. This system is usually referred to as the flight or fight aspect of the brain. The limbic system deals with sex and rage, certain portions of memory, attention, and mood, and the addiction center.

One of the major behavioral changes seen in a person with addiction compared to the rest of the normal healthy population is anxiety. Self-treatment for anxiety can provide short-term relief but promotes long-term damage.

Risks of self-medication for anxiety

  • Self-medication generally starts with a cigarette, few benzodiazepines, and a few drinks. The brain builds receptors which constantly craves for drugs and alcohol to remain in a state of calm. Therefore, that person develops tolerance and the levels of nicotine, or other drug intake capacity reaches an all-time While more receptors continue to build, that person requires more levels of drugs to keep him calm.
  • The biggest issue in this problem is to carefully negotiate the withdrawal symptoms and patiently treat the person with right kind of medications so that anxiety and panic do not ensue.

Therefore, it is better to avoid self-medication in case of anxiety symptoms is experienced by addicts and contacting an addiction specialist is the best choice.

9Can addiction cause depression?

Substance abuse and depression intertwine on various levels

  • Depression can invariably trigger alcohol or drug use as a method of self-medication.
  • Alcohol and drugs can instigate depression by changing brain chemistry.
  • The effects of withdrawal can mirror the symptoms of a depressive state of mind.
  • The neurological factors that lead to depression may incline the individual to drug or alcohol addiction.

Depression and addiction are a pretty dangerous mix

  • Depression and addiction are extremely tough enough to simply deal with alone. Their combination increases the negative effects multifold. People with addiction and depression combined have 1:4 suicidal tendencies.
  • Depression also works as a recurrence trigger. Alcohol and drugs also in some ways tend to minimize the effectiveness of the treatment given for depression.
  • In a brief, depression and addiction are a dangerous combination. Treatment that does not focus on both these issues, however, is a prescription for

Treatment not given due importance

One of the greatest failings of modern medication for addiction and depression is the reality that people are not knowledgeable enough about the necessity for continuous treatment. The biggest success is only witnessed when medication and therapy are combined with a prolonged long-term treatment.

For person’s suffering from recurrent depression who fail to receive continuous care, the percentage of relapse within a time frame of 2 years is almost 100 percent.

No magic formula to cure addiction or depression

The medication for addiction or depression is far superior nowadays to the limited options available some 20 years ago.

All in all, novel treatment techniques such as TMS ( Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) are used when traditional treatment for depression does not provide the expected results. Maybe in future, science would have advanced in such a way that, the addiction craving receptors in addicted individuals can be switched off with ease.

Who said depression is a weakness?

Depression is a complex brain disorder which occurs mostly due to psychological, environmental,  biological, and genetic factors. Medication, therapy, and treatment for depression can save many and help most.

However, all efforts may not always have a happy ending.

How long will it take to get rid of an addiction?

  • There is an old belief which says it only takes 21 days to change an old recurring habit and now this saying is declared as a total myth.
  • According to experts, a new habit can be cultivated with consistent and conscious effort within a time span of 21 days. But, to break away completely from existing habits, more time is definitely required.
  • To be more precise, the brain takes around 90 days to shake off the influence and reset itself. Researchers have confirmed that the brain’s prefrontal cortex gradually limps back to normalcy when the addicted person had abstained for a minimum period of 90 days. This part of the brain deals with analytical functions and proper decision making.
  • Even though 90 days is functionally accepted as the gold standard, it is not possible to fix a timeline to quit the addiction. Remember, addiction is a cruel long-term companion, and moreover recovery is a continuous struggle- even after long periods of sobriety.

10Will vaping cause addiction?

Invariably yes. Adolescents generally carry a wrong perception that vaping e-cigs or smoking cannabis is cool and harmless.

E-cigs or electronic cigarettes are built to deliver nicotine-laced with different flavorings and various other chemicals by engaging a battery-operated device that converts the chemical concoction instead of smoke into a vapor.

Taking a puff activates the heating mechanism, which then vaporizes the liquid, which is later inhaled. Vaping refers to the process of smoking an electronic cigarette.

However, many adolescents carry a perception that electronic cigarettes “looked trendy and cool”.

Health risks of smoking e-cigs or vaping

  • E-cigs does not come under the purview of FDA. There is no mechanism to confirm the safety of these e-cigs.
  • The e-cig vapors are believed to contain acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and other harmful carcinogens including various metal nanoparticles.
  • As per estimates presented by CDC (Center for Disease Control), vaping is at present the most happening nicotine delivery method among adolescents.
  • The intake of nicotine in any form ranging from hookah to e-cigs is potentially dangerous for kids belonging to any age group.

In conclusion, it is in the adolescent phase the brain achieves critical development. Exposure to nicotine at such a young age may lead to continuous tobacco use, promote or enhance addiction, and increase the percentage of causing lasting harm to the brain.

11How addiction affects families?

Addiction not only damages the physical and mental state of the person involved, it also damages the relationships between their loved ones.

Breaking relationships – A major problem with a person addicted to substance abuse is that they wish to separate themselves and move away from their close friends and families. This withdrawal will be in most cases painful as if they have suddenly lost their wife, husband, or best friend.

Encourages negative mindsets and emotional turmoil- Friends and family may actually encounter various patterns of negative emotions and mindsets due to their loved one’s addiction or substance abuse. As days progress, their sense of self-love or self-esteem starts to erode. Finally, addiction will take more precedence over family’s valued relationships and needs. Anxiety and depression may takeover and the resulting emotional turmoil is very strong on children of addicts.

Caretaking consumes more time – The addicted person’s brain and body both suffer extensively. Because of this, a host of disorders, diseases, and illnesses may manifest. This puts pressure on close friends and families to act as caretakers.

Therefore, caretaking can turn into an unavoidable burden, where the caretaker might shift focus from their emotional and physical well being to concentrate more on the needs of the addict.

Creates negative role models – In addition to just caretaking, the most common type of behavioral change that affects the family dynamics is enabling.  An enabler can be anyone; a close friend, the child of a single-parent, or a partner or spouse. When a person acts as an enabler, it means, they intentionally or unintentionally contribute by their actions to the person’s alcohol or drug abuse.

Most of the enablers fail to recognize the extent of the damage caused by their actions and still live in the denial or may attribute their actions to love and support for the person involved.

Become isolated from friends and families – One of the major side-effects of enabling, the addicted person withdraws from their family’s social circle consisting of their family members, child, parent, or spouse etc. In the end, the addicted person loses contact with all his family members, effectively rendering the family support system void and null.

Can lead to divorce – The sad but inexplicable truth is that the partners are finding it impossible to survive in that miserable environment, ultimately resulting in divorce. This does not mean that if in case a partner is an addict then divorce is unavoidable, rather than statistically, the divorce rate is greater.

More exposure to disease – Certain drugs like heroin, or meth, among rest, carries potentially dangerous transmissible diseases.  Hepatitis and HIV are all common types of transmissible diseases. The primary threat is for both injection as well non-injection drug users.

If a partner contracts any of these diseases and then indulges in any sort of sexual activities, their better half is also bound to get infected with this disease. Other than this, pregnant women who are suffering from any kind of addiction might transfer the same to their child.

Financial trouble – A person addicted to drugs will invariably need money to feed off his cravings. To meet his requirements, he might even go to the extent of stealing from his near and dear ones. Gradually, he might get into the books of criminals and get labeled as an anti-social element by the society. Therefore, a substance abuse can cause more such embarrassment to his family members and friends.

12Is addiction genetic?

According to experts, the answer is no. There is no combination of genes or gene that is invariably linked with addiction. This is because genes that are working with addiction are impulsivity traits genes. Moreover, all these correlations were found to be inconsistent or weak.

Some traits indicate the inclination of an individual towards certain addiction than the average next guy. Impulsivity in some cases can also guide you towards bungee jumping and nobody is talking that genetics and bungee jumping are related.

Impulsivity is found to be equated with genetic factors. A recent study examined the brain activation pattern and impulse control. The result found that various prefrontal networks (brain) were more connected with impulse control. Activation in any of these networks was related to early alcohol or drug use, while arousal in a separate set of networks was related to ADHD disorders.

Overall, addiction has some sort of genetic links but not genetic determinism. However, addiction can be best described as an outcome, a learned method of behavior and thought, and a result of a specific group of life experiences. The relations between brain and genes can help to build personality inclination and not addiction.

13What are addiction triggers?

A trigger can refer to anything that reminds of memories, feelings, or thoughts that is in a way or other connected with addiction (For e.g. – a cigarette reminding a smoke addict of puff). They are usually called as cues.

For e.g. – In an experiment, a dog was given food after ringing a bell. The dog in due course tuned itself with the sound of the bell began salivating immediately when it heard the bell, even before the actual food was served. Here, the food was the reward and bell was the cue.

Seeing things or hearing them happens to create a response or reaction to the reward, in most of the cases, the drug.

Triggers, relapse, drugs, and cravings

Triggers actually remind the individual of drug wanting and drug-seeking behavior. Both animals as well as humans, as soon as they hear or see the trigger, will immediately jump into that activity that once brought them the drugs even after abstaining from it for a long duration.

In short, the drug-seeking mechanism will spring up as if they were still continuing with that addiction. So, cravings and relapse are correlated.

How to escape or handle triggers or cues?

The best way to totally demolish the trigger-response contact is repeated exposure to no reward. But remember, staying too far away from the cues can one day remind or bring back drug-behavior much stronger.

More than that, be honest with yourself and if you are seeing a therapist, tell them about your triggers. They can help you to handle them in a better way.

14What is an addiction?

Addiction can be defined as a condition that manifests when an individual ingests a drug such as nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol etc. or occupy oneself in an activity (for e.g. – shopping, sex, gambling) which initially gives him/her any kind of pleasure, and later the continuation of the same activity turns compulsive and disturbs ordinary concerns and responsibilities, like health, relationships, or work.

An addicted person usually may not be concerned about their behavior which might get out of control and cause unnecessary problems for others and themselves.

15Is addiction a disease?

No, addiction is not a disease. It is a set of behaviors, and definitely not an illness. Addiction can never be explained by the disease process. The worst of all, mentioning addiction as a “disease” completes destroys the efforts to accept and explore new understandings related to addiction.

Why can addiction not be termed as a disease?

  • Invariably in addiction, it does not deal with any kind of biologically degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or pathological biological processes like diabetes or infectious agents normally found in diseases like tuberculosis.
  • The only problem with addiction is that the lives of those affected tend to get worse with the passage of time.
  • Addictive behavior can be called as a readily comprehensible symptom, of course not a vulnerable disease.
  • Addiction is in the same group as other normal compulsive disorders like exercising and shopping.
  • Understanding the urge that forces the individual to perform an activity repeatedly paves the way to get rid of that particular activity, the addiction itself.

16How addiction affects the brain?

Drugs or substances are basically chemicals that disrupt the functioning of the brain by breaking into the brain’s communication system and disturb the way neurons generally process, send, and receive information.

Certain drugs such as heroin and marijuana can easily activate the neurons because their neurotransmitters are similar to the real actual neurotransmitters present in the brain.

This ability of the drugs fools receptors and unconditionally allows the chemicals or drugs to activate or attach to the neurons.

These artificial neurotransmitters do not function the same way as the real neurotransmitters and in the process causes improper functioning by transmitting abnormal messages through the network.

Moreover, other drugs, like cocaine and amphetamine, can force the neurons to automatically release abnormal quantities of original natural neurotransmitters.

Therefore, these kinds of disruptions totally destroy the communication channels.

17what are addiction withdrawal symptoms?

Drug withdrawals are a set of signs that usually occurs when the intake of recreational drugs and medications are abruptly decreased or discontinued.

For a person to experience drug withdrawal signs, he/she must have developed a kind of drug dependence, which can be psychological dependence, physical dependence, or both.

Usually, addiction withdrawal symptoms vary from one drug to another. Opiates withdrawal signs include diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, and anxiety. Alcohol withdrawal signs consist of nausea, sweating, shaking, fatigue, and irritability. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include difficulty concentrating, headache, insomnia, fatigue, and irritability.

1. Barbiturates

  • Mebaral
  • Luminal
  • Alurate
  • Lotusate
  • Butisol
  • Fiorinal
  • Tuinal
  • Seconal
  • Nembutal
  • Amytal
  • Surital
  • Pentothal
  • Brevita

Withdrawal symptoms

At times life-threatening, frightening, and unpredictable

Effects to family and self

  • Cognitive changes
  • Behavior disturbances

2. Methamphetamines

 ♦ Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Sleep and anxiety issues
  • Similar to cocaine withdrawal signs

Effects to family and self

Increase in uncouth sexual behavior
Confrontational personality
Violent, hostile, and irritable
Family troubles and financial loss

3. Marijuana

♦ Withdrawal Symptoms

Mood fluctuations
Increased appetite
Normally withdrawal is not considered dangerous

Effects to family and self

  • Isolation due to behavior/mood changes
  • Difficulty in focusing because of poor communication
  • Poor performance at school, work
  • Decreased motivation

4. Crack or Cocaine

♦ Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide
  • Aggression
  • Death
  • Convulsions
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizure
  •  High percentage of stroke
  • Can turn fatal

Effects to family and self

Increases suicidal tendencies and violence
Sudden and abrupt mood swings

5. Opiates

  • Norco
  • Lortabs
  • Percodan
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Talwin
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Opium

♦ Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Extremely frightening and uncomfortable

♦ Effects to family and self

  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Internal organ damage

6. Prescription Opioids

  • Benzodiazepine -Rozerem
  • Halcion
  • Doral
  • Ativan
  • Valium
  • Tranxene
  • Klonopin
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Chlordiazepate
  • Zolpidem
  • Soma
  • Fioricet
  • Lunest
  • Sonata
  • Buspar
  • Restoril
  • Dalmane
  • Serax
  • Librium
  • Xanax

♦ Withdrawal Symptoms

Difficulties in sleeping

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Spasms, muscle aches, stiffness, and pain
  • Body Shaking
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Paranoia or fear
  • Depression
  • Feeling tense
  • Seizures

Effects to family and self

Lack of interest in performing regular activities

Legal Troubles

Neglecting family friends, children, school, home, and work

7. Alcohol

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Life-threatening
  • Strokes or heart attacks
  • Tremors
  • Delirium or hallucinations
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Seizures

Effects to family and self

  • Disinhibiting
  • Mood-swings
  • Lack of proper decision-making ability
  • Altered or false perception
  • Slows down actions and reflexes, thoughts

18What is the addiction to social media?

Politicians, educators, parents, and psychologists frequently mention how vital it is for the kids to learn media literacy so that they can evaluate, produce, and critically use social media. It has been found out from research that media literacy is not required by the young kids to cultivate.

According to leading psychologists, addiction is rightly identified as psychological diagnosis depending on various life-threatening and specific criteria. Social media addiction is not considered as threatening as meth or heroin addiction.

Effects of social media addiction

Behavioral change- The main issue is the change in normal behavior. Social media addiction refers to spending more time online to produce some sort of pleasurable effect in which the main activity is only online.  It can also include moving away completely from other responsibilities or tasks, experience some sort of withdrawal signs after stopping or browsing social media sites.

Depression and loneliness are nowadays linked to social media addiction. Compulsively checking and updating profiles in the social media and be a sitting duck for online exploitation are all part of social media addiction.

Lack of self-image- After the advent of social media, the image of ours is somehow related or connected with the opinions of others online. As per reports, in the age groups of 16 – 24, more than 20% have turned teetotalers, giving room to the thought that it is cool to be part of social media website rather than spend time in a pub.

Overall, social media addiction may not sound as attractive as an alcohol or crack cocaine addiction, it still has got all the ingredients to turn prolonged users into wild addicts.

19What is an addiction to food?

Food addiction is not all about food. It is the way of using not eating or eating as a method to handle deep painful feelings. Food addiction recovery deals with healthy options to manage emotions. It also involves learning to be true to oneself and not just get carried away by other people’s response or judgment.

Steps to recover from food addiction

  • Avoid dieting and let go of harsh feelings about food – Food addiction recovery means abstaining from specific compulsive eating-addiction behaviors including food intake restriction, obsession with food, and eating impulsively.
    “Overeaters Anonymous” deals with abstaining from sugar and flour. However, this type of restriction does not necessarily work with all. So, plan wisely and experiment.
  • Handle emotional soups – General food addiction behaviors like obsessive calorie counting and bingeing can serve, either unconsciously or consciously, as a means of distractions from emotions which the addicted person does not know how to handle.  In recovery, getting to the root of the issues and learning to cope with them effectively.
    The first step deals with learning to be conscious of one’s feeling that trigger compulsive overeating, then learning effective healthier ways to handle them. A self-help book or a therapist can help to deal with this problem.
  • Embracing the truth about one’s body – By truly reclaiming a deep connection with one’s body and understanding it’s language, the scope of body’s wisdom far supersedes the power of the mind, in the healing process. The addiction harbors in the mind while the healing process is associated with the body.
    Qigong or yoga can help in the process of mind-body practice or visit a reputed therapist can help to make a fast recovery.
  • Altering or creating a new set of core beliefs – For humans, it is the core beliefs that drive each and every one of us unconsciously. Core beliefs deal with various primal needs like approval, love, attention, and safety.
    Once a core belief is formed, it drives our behavior in many ways, not related to food alone. With the help of a therapist, it is easy to identify our core beliefs, and letting go of ineffective ones are easy.
  • Addressing soul satisfaction – The problem of food addiction is usually linked to the difference between what your soul is feeling as authentic and what your emotions and cravings are driving you to perform.
    The recovery from addiction to food will remain slow and ineffective if the true cravings of the soul are not addressed or satisfied properly.
    The various ways of finding soul satisfaction include attending religious discourses, attending 12-step meetings, spend more time in being in nature, and meditation etc.
    These practices will not only lift your spirits or simply make you look and feel good, it will actually create an awareness of the higher goal in your life.
    In conclusion, recovery from any form of addiction is a continuous lifelong process. The most important thing to bear in mind is to forgive and remain gentle with yourself for all lapses.
    As long as you are aware of the truth that the soul’s true desires are the ones that drive you and nothing else, you have truly arrived.

20What is the addiction to sugar?

Many of us would have at one point in time, undergone an unstoppable craving or urge driving us to devour something sweet in a flash. Is it a weakness or a hardwired brain response? Does it indicate any sort of will-power loss or any moral weakness?

Why does that ice cream tub have an unexplainable control over you, in spite of you knowing the fact that it will turn you dull and sick?

What is sugar addiction?

The link between addictive behavior and sugar is connected to the truth that, when we consume sugar, dopamine, and opioids are released.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine, a form of neurotransmitter that belongs to the “reward circuit” connected or linked with addictive behavior. When an activity or a specific behavior tends to release an excess amount of dopamine, the individual undergoes a pleasurable “high”. The individual is then inclined to undergo that experience and repeat the behavior.

When the individual repeats that behavior on a much frequent basis, the brain adapts to release less amount of dopamine. To feel the same high the only way is to repeat that activity in increasing frequency and amounts. This is called as substance abuse.

Risks of consuming more sugar

  • Sugar affects the brain’s reward center like other drugs such as cocaine and promotes similar signs and cravings.
  • Sugar invariably stimulates the opiate receptors located in our brain and it promotes compulsive behavior. The negative consequences include hormone imbalances, headaches, and weight gain.
  • In rats, various studies have revealed that sugar stimulates the pleasure centers much more than drugs like cocaine does.
  • The main culprit is fructose and it has been called as “ The alcohol without any buzz”.
  • A study has revealed that in America, the sugar consumption limit is much more than recommended limits, and the real perpetrator is the sweetened beverages.
  • Studies show that when we eat, the neuropathways are reinforced and forcing the brain to crave for more sugar, thereby creating tolerance like all other drugs.

Added sugar

The WHO has been cautioning and warning people not to increase the consumption of “free sugars” more than 10%. Free sugars are present in the form of sucrose, maltose, dextrose, brown sugar, corn syrup, and glucose. Other foods include drinks and foods with sugar content and natural sugar products such as fruit juice and honey.

According to ODPHP (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), free sugar is found in beverages such as sweetened teas and coffee, fruit drinks, soda, alcoholic drinks, and other energy drinks. Snack items such as fat-free yogurt, granola bars, salad dressing, a sugar present in bread, ice cream, doughnuts, cookies, and brownies.

In conclusion, experts suggest that our body is not designed to intake such concentrated amounts of sugar and it is our prerogative to check the food labels before eating any food item.

21What is an addiction to weed/marijuana?

An Introduction to weed or marijuana

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the main component in marijuana or weed, attaches to cannabinoid (CB2 and CB1) receptors present in the brain. Since it is not a full blown agonist (A chemical that attaches itself to a receptor and thereby forces the receptor to create a kind of biological response), it stimulates the receptors partially.

The truth that cannabinoid receptors control appetite, sleep, and mood to a certain extent is the main reason behind weed’s effects such as euphoria, increased appetite, and relaxation.

The link between heroin and marijuana

  • There is evidence to prove that there is a strong connection between the opioid receptor and cannabinoid receptor (mainly CB1 receptors) in the brain.
  • THC will fail to produce the desired results unless and until µ opioid receptors are activated.
  • The weed or marijuana moreover stimulates the exact same receptor pathways as opiates ( oxycontin, morphine, heroin etc.).
  • The opioid system stimulates the dopamine reward system.
  • However, stimulants like methamphetamine, nicotine, alcohol, and opiates do not provide the needed pleasure till the CB1 receptors are stimulated. Therefore, without the help of cannabinoid receptors, the drug reward is not at all possible.

In essence, the relationships between the addictive properties and THC targets of other drugs, it is better not to argue against marijuana or weed.

22What is an addiction to chocolate?

A person who compulsively consumes or craves chocolate is known as a chocoholic. Moreover, there is evidence to prove that chocolate addiction is a reality. Chocolate confectioneries and chocolate almost invariably assume the top spot in the list of food craving.

Studies have shown that people often crave for foods that contain fat or sugar.

Some of the ingredients in chocolates

Chocolates consists of fat and sugar, some of the addictive components in chocolate are

  • Phenylethylamine – Instigates feelings of attraction and excitement
  • Serotonin – Feelings of elation, regulates moods
  • Tryptophan – important amino acid

Chocolate craving

Women are main victims of chocolate craving and magnesium deficiency in humans is thought to be the main reason for a chocolate craving.

How to escape chocolate craving?

Some of the simple tips to beat chocolate cravings are

  • Taking part in an exercise routine
  • Meditation practice
  • Leaving out chocolate and choosing a new food item
  • Taking all decisions regarding food with a clear mind

In conclusion, the“Food of the Gods” or the Theobroma Cacao is here to stay and it means chocolate craving is a never-ending phenomenon.

23What is an addiction to phones?

Mobile phone addiction or overuse is predominantly found among certain mobile phone users. It is a kind of dependence syndrome. Smartphone addiction is similar to substance abuse in that smartphones give the drug while showing the way by which the substance is absorbed.

We are not directly addicted to smartphones but to the entertainment, content, and other forms of information provided to us via mobile phones.

When you are completely obsessed with checking your smartphone and feel abnormal when you cannot do it, then probably you might be under the influence of “Nomophobia” or addiction to mobile phones.

Symptoms of Smartphone Addiction

When an individual suffers from at least 4 or more of the criteria mentioned for phone addiction, then you need to recheck your relationship with your cell phone.

When the mobile signal is weak, the person shows

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Tension
  • Anger
  • Tolerance – Craving new cellphones as soon as they are launched.
  • Put his/her job and relationship at risk because of excessive mobile use.
  • Not bothered by the loss of time and always tied to smartphones.
  • Searching for mobile phones during times of depression or anxiety
  • Completely pre-occupied with mobile phone use.
  • Failed persistently to move away from using smartphones
  • An uncontrollable urge to use the smartphones repeatedly as a drug

In case, if you are aware of someone who is suffering from any of above-mentioned signs, please do not hesitate to contact a specialist.

Possible Psychological effects of mobile phone addiction

  • Anxiety- A research study has shown that persons who are using their mobiles on a continuous basis feel anxious when they are down.
  • Relationship issues- Personal and social relationships are likely to go for a toss due to addiction to excessive smartphone use.
  • Suffer from OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • Sleep Troubles
  • Light from the mobile can affect the brain cells
  • Delay in falling sleep or insomnia
  • An excessive amount of cell phone use is linked to fatigue and sleep disorders.

Possible Physical effects of mobile phone addiction

Excessive use of smartphones can cause a number of difficult or permanent damages such as

  • Male infertility – Mobile phone radiation can reduce sperm viability and mobility, or sperm count.
  • Road accidents – Using mobile phones while driving is hazardous and it can be compared to drunken drive.
  • Contamination – Presence of germs and other harmful bacteria can cause more harm than one would have imagined.

Mobile phones have recorded the presence of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, a bacteria that has developed resistance to various antibiotics.

Side-Effects of MRSA

  • Can cause life-threatening issues in lungs, heart valves, bloodstream, surgical injuries, joints, and bones.
  • Formation of painful abscesses cannot be ruled out
  • coli bacteria- Is found on many smartphones which can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and fever etc.
  • A research study has mentioned that 1 out of every 6 smartphones has shown some presence of germs found in fecal matter.
  • Text neck- Constantly looking at smartphones can cause neck issues also known as “Text Neck”.
  • Eye problems
  • Viewing the screen for long hours can result in eye discomfort and pain.
  • Eye troubles can lead to headaches
  • Eye fatigue
  • Vision blur
  • Eye itching and burning sensation

Substance abuse helpline center in America

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
Working Hours- Mon to Fri- 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Contact numbers- 800-487-4889 (TTY); 877-SAMHSA-7 (877-726-4727)
Toll free- Helpline- TTY: 1-800-487-4889; 1-8 Substance abuse helpline center in America00-662-HELP (4357)

Overall, although overindulgence in a smartphone is not given enough prominence like other forms of addiction, addiction to mobile phones cannot be brushed under the carpet just like that.

24What is an addiction to technology?

Technology addiction can be defined as an uncontrollable or unavoidable overuse of various technological devices namely gaming systems, computers, and smartphones etc.  Technology addiction is also widely known as Internet addiction disorder (IAD) or Internet use disorder or simply Internet addiction.

What technology addiction comprises of?

According to various studies, IAD can bring similar kind of chemical reactions in the brain to those created by substance drugs.

As per studies released by a psychology expert, around 6% to 10% of mobile users fall under the category of internet addiction. If an individual spends not less than 7 hours a day on mobile phones and undergoes withdrawal signs when he/she stops using the device, he/she falls under the tag of internet or technology addiction.

In America, every 1 out of 8 Americans experience some sort internet withdrawal signs as per data released by the “The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine”.

Internet addiction or technology addiction is a wider term that can include various types of addictive behavior such as shopping or participating in online auctions, gambling, video gaming, online porn and cybersex, excessive use of social media, information overload, and excessive texting too.

Does Internet overuse qualify as an addiction?

Using various scales, a study has found out that hostility, social phobia, depression, and ADHD are in one way or the other linked to overuse of internet or technology, a pattern that can be traced to drug and alcohol addicts.

How to determine whether you are an internet addict or not?

If you happen to score at least 5 or more “yes” answers, then don’t forget to meet a medical expert or a therapist for a consultation.

The questions are

  • Do you go in search of internet whenever you feel like escaping from troubles or dysphoric mood such depression, anxiety etc.?
  • Have you ever concealed the truth about the extent of your internet use to a therapist, family members etc.?
  • Have you risked your relationships with close family and friends just for the sake of indulging in internet related activities?
  • Do you extend being online than originally planned?
  • Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to quit or reduce internet use?
  • Have you ever felt irritable, depressed, moody, or restless when attempting to reduce internet use?
  • Do you feel like using the internet on a continuous basis to achieve a sense of satisfaction or pleasure?
  • Do you often brood over your response to any post or blog for a long time or feel preoccupied with online activities and eagerly anticipate the next session?

In conclusion, internet addiction is a growing anomaly and it is up to us to safeguard ourselves from this rage.

25What is an addiction to exercise?

Exercise addiction is more often linked with OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder because exercise addicts might have compulsions or obsessions toward physical activity. It can be related to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Traits displayed by exercise addicts

  • Secretly engaging in the activity
  • Continuing the activity even after persistent thoughts of quitting
  • Pushing through the activity even after it causes physical injuries or harm
  • Over-obsessive with the activity

Cause an of exercise addiction

All types of exercise release dopamine and endorphins.  These are those neurotransmitters which are released during substance abuse. An individual addicted to exercise will feel joy and pleasure when they exercise. The neurotransmitters disappear and when they stop exercising.

In order to feel the pleasure, an exercise addict has to exercise hard and more to trigger the immediate release of chemicals in the brain.

A body image disorder or a dysphoric disorder can also lead to exercise addiction.

Common signs of exercise addiction

Some of the common signs are

  • Experience or undergo an inability to reduce exercise routines
  • Spend more time to perform, execute, and recover from exercises
  • An unavoidable urge to exercise
  • Undergo side effects after stopping exercise
  • Feeling euphoric after exercising

How to diagnose exercise addiction?

  • It is one of the difficult addictions to properly diagnose. A decreased social activity combined with increased physical activities might indicate an addiction to exercise.
  • A doctor might ask the patient to keep track of various exercise patterns he/she does on a daily basis including a total number of hours spent in a particular exercise.

How to avoid or get rid of exercise addiction?

Stop visiting the gym or enroll in a gym far away from your house so that the frequency of gym visits will come down with time. Try to limit your exercise schedule. Take breaks frequently and talk to a specialist if you find it difficult to control your urge.

Overall, exercise addicts can stick to healthy diets and avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol, and drugs etc for overall wellbeing.

26What is an addiction to money?

Let us face the truth, money can make us feel special. Money can buy at times even humans, social status, and all sorts of stuff. The overindulgence in larger than life behavior can soon turn into an addiction.

Money addiction is also similar to other types of addiction wherein the person addicted uncontrollably repeats the same activity seeking pleasure or high time and again.

Risk of money addiction

The main problem is stranded relationships. A money addict will use the money to alter mood and thereby remain overly obsessed with controlling people, places using their wealth, discarding family ties or values out of the window.

The money addict will invariably spend more time with money, always preoccupied with money-related thoughts, allowing other things to occupy a secondary position in their lives.

For an individual addicted to money, nothing matches the accomplishment of amassing wealth. As time progresses, money addicts will find it extremely difficult to distinguish between fake love and real love and waste time seeking fake love.

Overall, money addicts can suffer from a feeling of weakness inside and overlook the nice things offered by life.

27What is an addiction to painkillers?

Opioid painkillers have the ability to create a sense of euphoria, but they can be highly addictive.

Depending on painkillers for a long duration can lead to a kind of craving for painkillers. After prolonged use, the body develops a tolerance suggesting the user increase the opioid painkiller intake.

Like most of the drugs, painkillers simply overlook the pain and as a matter of fact, they do not cure anything.

Disorders associated with painkiller addiction

Most of the people who are addicted to painkillers might silently suffer from any of this disorder

  • Alcoholism
  • Other kinds of substance abuse
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How to avoid getting addicted to painkillers?

It is important for the individual to ask these questions whenever they are prescribed painkillers during treatment or recovery stage to their doctor. We have also mentioned the reason for asking the same.

What is the necessity for you to prescribe painkillers?

According to various findings, many ER doctors prescribed painkillers in order to increase the patient satisfaction which is invariably tied to receiving good performance reviews and funding for their hospital. This can also happen in any doctor clinic wherein the doctor might be under stress to quickly move out the patient and not address the exact reason for the pain.

What kind of risks do I face?

The important part is asking you these questions or explain your medical history to your doctor and ask them their opinion.

Do you suffer from any kind of genetic setup of addiction or is there any history of depression or anxiety in your family? If yes, then the percentage of addiction can rise exponentially.

Are you still in the zone of childbearing category(for women)? If yes, approach cautiously. Opioids are connected to childbirth defects and damage can happen anytime, early in their pregnancy before realizing whether she has conceived or not.

Are you addicted to alcohol or taking other medications-  Combining it with alcohol or benzodiazepines, opioids can cause very serious to bad side effects.

In a nutshell, let your doctor know your complete medical history and your family background.

Be realistic in your expectation – Clarify with your doctor about the extent of relief the prescribed painkillers can provide. Be clear, do not over depend on them for pain relief and ask about the exit plan from the doctor itself.

What are the other alternatives other than taking painkillers?

In most of the cases, opioids can work best. But what about other types of pain where nonopioid painkillers, alternative and complementary medicine, behavioral therapy, or physical therapy might work. Discuss with your doctor about your willingness to try other options.

Can you provide any sort of scientific proof that these things work?

Maybe this question, might not invoke a positive or a short quick answer. Be practical and do not force your doctor to reply positively.

In conclusion, taking opioids can be more damaging and addictive for some and for others it might be the best route to get some relief from pain.

In whatever category you fall, go slow, listen to your doctor and trust your instincts.

28What is an addiction to facebook?

Facebook addiction can be defined as spending enormous amounts of time only on Facebook. Moreover, it refers to a user’s Facebook use coming in the way of important activities, like nurturing relationships with friends and family, work, or school etc.

Risk of becoming a Facebook addict

A recent study has revealed that for many quitting Facebook is, even more, harder than quitting alcohol or smoking. Moreover, the desired level for staying on top was much higher than tobacco or alcohol.

Social networks like Facebook can be hazardous to person’s suffering from addictive personalities.

The withdrawals symptoms can include becoming paranoid, jittery, depressed, dependent, lonely, anxious, angry, panicked, confused, fretful etc. They can affect our productive at work and damage our real-life relationships.

The main reason for Facebook addiction is the lure of connection with fellow beings. Undoubtedly, humans are social beings but the online social media networks do not fulfill the criteria of connection. Relationships and face-to-face meetings can provide them and not Facebook.

The best way to move away from this Facebook syndrome is to adopt a fixed time schedule every day to check social media account. For e.g.- restrict your Facebook use to 10 – 30 mins maximum daily.

In conclusion, there is no technology that does not have a bad side. It is up to the individual to weigh both pros and cons and then decide wisely.

29What is an addiction to Coca-Cola?

Is it possible for a person to get addicted to a caffeinated drink?  That too Coco-Cola. Before we get to that answer, let us understand the basics.

Generally, people consume sweet on a normal basis. Drinks and food like chocolates can trigger the so-called “reward centers” like other activities such as exercise or music in the brain. Frequently consuming drink and food that tastes good is definitely not the same as getting addicted to a caffeinated drink.

Moreover, Coca-Cola has denied that the sugar and caffeine in all their products are addictive.

A 330ml Coca-Cola Can contains 32 mg of caffeine whereas a cup of coffee contains 100ml. Meanwhile, as long as it is scientifically proven that consuming Coca-Cola can make a person addict, every accusation until such time will just remain a pipe dream.

In conclusion, a person can get addicted to the sugar content in Coca-Cola just like other sugar products. The only way to stop sugar addiction is to go cold turkey.

30What is an addiction to gaming?

VGA or video game addiction is considered as a hypothetical addiction generally characterized by the compulsive or excessive use of video or computer games, which disturbs a person’s daily routine. It can appear in any form including hyper-focus on video game achievements, diminished imagination, mood swings, social isolation, and compulsive gaming.

Causes of video game addiction

  • Many video games, particularly multi-player games which involves role-playing and mobile games and social networks, heavily relies on a “core loop”, a group of activities that motivates the player to continue in the game and thereby retain them.
  • This kind of anticipation can release dopamine and when once the reward is secured, the player remembers that event as a pleasurable activity. Gambling addiction and video gaming addiction are similar in the way they handle thereward center located in our brain.
  • Almost, most of the games do not have an end, and this excites many players to keep on playing the game day and night and seek the pleasure reward on a non-stop basis.
  • Other reasons suggest that people take to video games to satisfy their basic psychological needs. They repeat the process because it offers them a connection to different players, freedom, and rewards.
  • Video game addiction has a close relation to impulse control disorder.

Risks of being a video game addict

Some of the negative side-effects of video game addiction can include

  • Repetitive stress issues and seizures – Players who already have a history of seizure or epilepsy can get affected due to flickering colors, lights, and the graphics. Compulsive gaming can also cause repetitive stress troubles of hand or wrist or both.
  • Violence – Adolescent players who are hooked to high-graphic or violent video game content are prone to exhibit violent behavior than those who do not have exposure to that kind of content.
  • Avoid growing up – Adolescence is marked by a period of personal development and discovery. In order to become a responsible citizen, young adults must learn to manage awkward social experiences and other painful emotions. Wasting time in playing video games might hamper that development.
  • Concentration and attention problem – Playing rapid and fast action video games can affect a child’s focus and concentration in the long run. Moreover, the child might lose out on activities like book reading which calls for prolonged, focused attention.
  • Neglect social relationships – Sitting in front of a computer screen for long hours not only disrupts the physiological but also psychological developments. Avoiding interaction with the real-world scenario can derail the interpersonal communication between the player and the rest of the society.
  • Promotes sedentary lifestyle – Video game addiction can increase the risk of type-2 diabetes and promote poor posture, and aid in weight gain.

Finally, video game addiction is not like other substance addiction and proper monitoring from the side of parents can go a long way in saving the kids from this infectious addiction.

31What is an addiction to online shopping?

At present, businesses have understood the knack of driving us towards the payment counter using various sponsored and targeted online ads. In order to make us pay for the product, businesses must drive our attention to products displayed and then make us click it.

This kind of cue-reactivity (getting excited about shopping cues) and craving (an unavoidable desire to buy) techniques plays a major role in pushing a customer to buy a product online.

Shopping addiction can also call as oniomania, buying addiction, compulsive addiction, and pathological buying.

The main causes of online shopping addiction are

Users who are disinterested in social interaction and interested in anonymous buying

Anxiety and pathological buying have a strong connection. People who are not comfortable to go outside and buy rely on online shopping sites as it provides a nice cover to hide their privacy and remain anonymous.

People who wish to buy more items and are in search of more varieties – It is suitable for those who are constantly on the lookout for new designs and varieties. Online shopping sites leave no stone unturned to retain the attention and craving of the shopaholic public.

Those who seek instant rewards- People seeking instant or immediate gratification can quickly feed their cravings with just the click of a mouse.

Signs to identify obsessive online shopping

  • Buying things when it is not all required and not bothering about the price
  • Spend more time online for shopping and less or no time for other activities
  • Feeling guilty while shopping online
  • Hiding things purchased online so that others do not feel bad about me
  • A thought like nothing makes me feel better other than online shopping
  • Feeling grumpy when not shopping online
  • Completely pre-occupied only with the thoughts of online shopping
  • Argue with friends and family and justify your online shopping behavior
  • Allowing online shopping behavior to hurt your social ties
  • Repeatedly tried and failed to stop buying things online

Finally, online shopping addiction can be brought under control if the person is cooperative and follow the guidelines provided by an addiction therapist.

32Is addiction a family disease?

Yes, addiction is definitely a family disease. It damages the overall family dynamics, finances, physical health, mental health, family’s unity, household stability, and finally pushes the family members to a breaking point.

Not only this, family members are always under a constant stress. Normal daily routines are affected and interrupted by unnecessary fear and frightening experiences which would become a routine while living with drug or alcohol addicts.

Their entire household may experience problems that might move out of control. Individual therapy for all family members will be necessary to improve the overall well being of the family.

For family member of addicts, kindly contact the centers and learn how to handle addicts in your family or friend’s circle –

In conclusion, not only addicts but also their family members must never lose hope and stick to a road map of positivity and strength.

33Is addiction a disease or mental illness?

Addiction is a mental illness because it changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. Addiction can be stated as a disease since it The resulting compulsive behaviors that override the ability to control impulses despite the consequences are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses.

34How are kids addicted?

Kids are normally noted to get addicted to a particular behavior in two ways:

  1. Watching the bad habits of some family members like taking drugs or alcohol spoils the mind of children. They start to experiment and then the feeling of repeating that action arises within them leading to addiction. This is called as drug addiction.
  2. External influences that are mostly media-related like video games, television and internet tend to easily attract a child’s attention. For instance, children show enthusiasm to gain experience of playing video games but later get excited to develop it as a habit.

A combination of family and external influences can even cause various addiction amongst kids like violence addiction, sleep addiction, food addiction, gambling addiction, pornography addiction and other vices.

35Where are American de-addiction centers located?

Deaddiction centers in America are spread across states like Florida, California, New Jersey, Texas etc.

Some eminent names include:

  • Victory Bay Recovery Center, located in New Jersey
  • Green House, located in Texas
  • Beachside Rehab, located in Florida

36How can we avoid Internet addiction?

Internet addiction can be averted through:

  • Recognise that you are becoming an addict
  • Set aside limited time for computer usage
  • Use the computer that is only in the library
  • Make hard copies of the information that you need to look regularly
  • Call people in person, if possible rather than using live chat messages
  • Develop some interest apart from the use of electronic gadgets
  • Put forth your priority activities before everything
  • Hang out with friends
  • Sit out with your family for dinner and then plan out for playing indoor games

37What are the symptoms of someone who is addicted to computer games?

Abnormal level of time spending towards the games causing poor sleep habits,

  • Lack of concentration at school
  • Work or relationships
  • Individuals addicted to computer games
  • The addicted individual will majorly remain aloof from others and be obsessed to accomplish something in his/her passionate game.

38What are addiction symptoms?

The meaning of the term addiction symptoms is referring to all those affected persons who show signs of addiction in either a physical, behavioral or emotional manner.

  • Some physical signs are Repetitive speech patterns, Dilated pupils, red eyes, excessive sniffing and runny nose (not attributable to a cold), and looking pale or undernourished.
  • Some behavioral signs include: Missing work/school, Work/school problems, Missing important engagements, Legal Problems, Disrupted sleep patterns and Isolating/secretive about activities.
  • Some emotional signs of addiction are Irritability/Argumentative, Defensiveness, Inability to deal with stress, Loss of interest in activities/people that used to be part of their lives and Denial.

39What are de-addiction drugs?

De-addiction drugs signify the drugs that are given to any addicted person to recover from their addiction syndrome. It covers all the stages where an affected person will be watched out, right from his/her withdrawal symptoms until full recovery. For example, de-addiction drugs like Vivitrol, Campral, and Antabuse are administered to people affected by drug addiction.

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