Chemical addiction refers to an addiction to drugs of abuse, including drugs (both prescription and illegal), alcohol, and tobacco products, like cigarettes and snuff. When substances are taken they release a much higher amount of dopamine which is our brains natural reward center which leads to the person feeling “high” or very good and euphoric. Because this “good feeling” is so strong it then motivates people to use the substance again and again. Scientists have been known to say that drug abuse is something we learn to do. The brain can then become dependent or addicted to the substance that is being overly used. The down side is that the person starts needing to use more and more of the substance to have the “high” they crave. Things spiral out of control rapidly. Depression can set in, their life, relationships, family, career can then fall apart.
Behavioral addiction is just like it sounds: an addiction to a certain behavior. Currently, the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 classifies two behavioral addictions under “addictions and related disorders.” These are pathological gambling and Internet addiction. Other behaviors not yet classified as “addiction disorders” but which are similar in nature, include addictions to:
- Video games
- Shopping or shoplifting
These addictions are classified as “obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.”