What Are Behavioral Addictions And How Are They Similar To Substance Addictions?

Not all addictions involve drugs or alcohol and in the case of behavioral addictions, the affected person becomes dependent on a behavior to achieve a “high” and to “escape” from his or her life.

Examples Of Behavioral Addictions

What Are Behavioral Addictions - Outpatient Treatment - Dunes OPA person can become addicted to activities such as:

  • Food
  • Sex
  • Gambling
  • The Internet
  • Shopping
  • Video Games

How Behavioral Addictions Are Similar To Substance Addictions

No matter the type of addiction, all addictions have a compulsive component. A pattern develops where participating in the activity takes on an ever-increasing importance in the addict’s life, to the extent that he or she thinks about it most of the time and has cravings to participate in the activity.

  • The behavior changes the person’s mood by giving what is to them a positive consequence. It can be described as a “high.” The person may start using the behavior as a coping strategy to deal with stress, boredom, anxiety, or other difficult emotions.
  • Over time, it takes more of the activity to achieve the same level of satisfaction, since the client develops a tolerance.
  • If the person can’t engage in the activity, he or she experiences negative feelings, such as irritability or moodiness. Some people even react physically and get “the shakes.”
  • Behavioral addictions cause conflict between the addict and his or her family members, friends, and co-workers. The addict may promise not to engage in the behavior again and appear to be sincere in the moment but someone who is truly addicted cannot stop and will continue the same behaviors without professional help. Engaging in the addiction may cost an inordinate amount of money, and it will take time away from the addict’s family and work, which is a further source of conflict.
  • Even if a behavioral addict does have a self-imposed period of abstinence, he or she will revert back to earlier behavioral patterns without addiction treatment.

Outpatient Treatment For Behavioral Addictions

Behavioral addictions can be successfully treated. At The Dunes OP, we get to the source of the problem and treat clients for behavioral as well as substance addictions on an outpatient basis. This allows our clients to continue to receive treatment without interrupting their home, work or family life.

Call Us Now To See How Our Personalized Outpatient Treatment Programs Can Help You Break Free From The Bondage Of Addiction!