Addiction is a problem with which millions of people in the United States struggle. Although you may have an idea of what addiction is, you might not know the addiction definition. Learning more can help you understand how and why this issue develops.
The Addiction Definition
According to The American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic, primary brain disease. It affects the memory, motivation, reward, and other brain functions. The effects are noticeable because people with addiction have impaired behavior control. They also can’t stop using, suffer cravings, and don’t acknowledge the significant problems in their lives.
People can develop an addiction to any illegal or legal substance that gives them pleasure. This includes alcohol, cigarettes, prescription painkillers, and numerous street drugs. With addiction, people have a compulsive need to use drugs, which harms themselves and others around them.
However, research shows that behaviors fit the addiction definition as well because they generate pleasure. These include gambling, shopping, and sexual activities. Like with substances, people who have an addiction to these and other behaviors have a compulsive need to engage in them. Since addiction is a mental disorder, it requires medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes to overcome.
Factors That Cause Addiction
Although the prolonged use of substances is a major factor in addiction development, many elements contribute. The frontal lobe of the brain, for instance, allows people to delay reward feelings. In people with addiction, however, this area malfunctions, and they get instant pleasure. The nucleus accumbens and anterior cingulate cortex can increase their response to addictive behaviors and substances.
Experts also believe that early, repeat exposure to addictive elements has a huge role in addiction developing. Children who grow up in homes with parents who have alcohol addiction are one example. These kids are more likely to drink and develop addiction as adults. However, it doesn’t always happen.
Genetics can contribute to addiction as well. Certain traits may speed up the progression of the disease when people start using drugs or engaging in addictive behaviors. Also, traumatic events can affect how people cope so that addiction can develop.
Furthermore, a chemical imbalance in the brain can cause addiction. Drugs and addictive activities stimulate the production of endorphins. The brain can produce too much after repeat use, which leads to addiction.
On the other hand, mental disorders might be the result of a chemical imbalance that’s already present. People who have bipolar disorder, for instance, may develop coping strategies that trigger addiction.
Get Treatment for Addiction in Newport Beach
If you have substance abuse or addiction problems, get treatment at Ocean Recovery. We offer rehab for a range of drug and eating disorders. Our team will customize a 90 day rehab program to fit your needs with services such as:
Don’t let not understanding addiction keep you from getting help. Ask us for more information about the addiction definition. Call 800-641-2388 to learn more about our programs.