Addiction – Symptoms Causes and Risk Factors

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about Addiction

Those people who have an addiction do not have control over what they are using, taking or doing. Their addiction can reach to a point which is harmful for them. Those things which we physically consume, such as alcohol or drugs are causing addiction but also addiction can include virtually anything, such as abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless product, such as chocolate. The addiction can refer to behavioral addiction, for example gambling addiction, and substance dependence, for example drug addiction. Many of us can become engaged in activities or use substance without any significant problem. But there are some people who experience physical and psychological damage when their habit becomes an addiction. The habit is done by a choice. The person who has habit can choose to stop and he or she will stop if they want to. The physical/psychological component is not a problem as with addiction. In the addiction there is psychological/physical component. The person who has addiction is unable to control the aspects of addiction without help because the physical or mental conditions are involved. Addiction to activities or substances can lead to serious problems at school, work, home and socially.

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Addiction Symptoms

The symptom is a something which the patient senses and describes, such as sleepiness. The sign is something that other people notice, such as dilated pills. The substance dependence is when a person is addicted to substance, such as alcohol, nicotine or drug and he or she is not able to control the use of this substance. They continue to taking it even if it is causes harm to them. The substance dependence can cause powerful cravings so they may want to quit from the substance but they cannot do it without help. The signs and symptoms of the addiction vary according to the affected person, their personal circumstances, the substance they are addicted to and their family history. The most common signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Relationship problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Having problems with the law
  • Taking an initial large dose
  • Having stashes
  • Dropping hobbies and activities
  • Excess consumption
  • Denial
  • Secrecy and solitude
  • Obsession
  • Dealing with problems
  • Engage in risky activities, such as driving fast
  • Taking a risk to get the substance, such as stealing or trading sex for money or drugs
  • Social and recreational sacrifices
  • Addiction continues despite health problem awareness
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • The person takes the substance and cannot stop

Addiction Causes

It is said that there is a link between the repeated use of some active substance and how the brain is experiencing pleasure. The usage of substance has a nice reward which is leading to further and more frequent use. The addictive substance, such as alcohol, nicotine or some drug, is causing physical changes in some nerve cells in the brain. Neuron is another name for nerve cell. We know that neurons are releasing neurotransmitters into the empty spaces (called synapses) between the nerve cells which are received by receptors in other neurons. The neurotransmitter is a chemical which the nerve cell releases. It transmits an impulse from one nerve cell to another nerve cell, muscle, organ or other tissue. After some time passes, the user of the potentially addictive substance is not getting the same pleasure and he or she has to increase the dose. His or her body’s tolerance is increased. Also the use may no longer experience pleasure from the substances and he or she takes them to prevent withdrawal symptoms which means that they take substances to feel normal. Experts are saying that when the tolerance increase, then the risk of addiction is much greater.

Addiction Risk factors

Every single person can become addicted to some substances, no matter of social status, sex or age. Here are some factors which increase the risk of addiction:

  • Loneliness
  • Family behavior
  • Peer pressure
  • How the body processes the substance
  • Having a mental illness/condition
  • Gender – males are more prone to addiction than women
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • The nature of the substance

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