Drug addiction takes off where drug abuse ends; at this stage, the individual involved has the obsessive and compulsive desire to use drugs to step-up their desire for pleasure.

Drug addiction is not a one-off event that happens just like that, it starts as an abuse, then tolerance, dependence, before addiction fully sets in.

Based on studies, there are some main factors that are responsible for drug addiction: Environmental, genetic and psychological factors. These listed factors play a pivotal role in making an individual addicted to drugs.

The environment where an individual lives greatly determines if the person will be addicted or not.

If there are people who abuse drugs and other related substances in a certain environment, then there is a likely chance that people who live there would tend towards abusing drugs and become addicted eventually.

Adults who are addicted currently began to abuse drugs when they were in their teens, due to the fact that they had people who did the same thing around them.

For genetic factors, it implies that if someone has parents and family friends who are addicted, there is a likely chance that the young ones in that family would follow suit.

In addition, psychological factors involve those who experience anxiety and depression. This set of people are more likely to be addicted to drugs than others. The reason why they would indulge in abusing drugs is because of the temporary effects that comes with taking those substances.

For artistes and celebrities who find it difficult to stay in the limelight; face their fears by talking to an audience, one of the ways they help themselves is to indulge in drug abuse, which later leaves them addicted.

Drug addiction comes with short-term and long-term effects. The individual becomes less productive at works, and focuses on his addiction rather than important people around them.

Moreso, the body organs are likely to suffer from addiction, and this is not good for the addicted individual.

To combat drug addiction, one of the best ways to go about this is to go to a rehab where proficient treatment measures would be administered.  


Internet addiction is the compulsive and obsessive desire to spend ample time on the internet. It is known that the internet can be used for productive acts.

However, when individuals in question invest this time instead of attending to productive tasks, then you can be sure that they are addicted to the internet already.

For people who are addicted to the internet, they do not like coming to terms with this reality. They believe that they are not addicted, but they are simply hardcore lovers of the internet.

In the long run, these people will begin to realize that other important aspects of their lives are not receiving as much attention as they should.

An addicted internet user would be so joyous when they are on the internet, and if they are not granted access to the internet, they would experience mild-depression for that period.

Internet addiction works similar to the concept of drug addiction. As a matter of fact, the far-reaching effects that they produce have striking similarities to one another. The only major difference is the fact that, one is behavioral addiction while the other is substance addiction.

Someone who is addicted to the internet would find it challenging to refrain from the internet. The reason for this is because, a virtual world has been created for them, where they find family and friends.

At this stage, the interest in their real loved ones would have died down, because they would most likely not be on good terms.

Internet addiction is something that increases based on the amount of time spent on the internet. This implies that someone who spends an average of two hours per day is not addicted. But someone who spends an average of 12 hours per day is most likely addicted.

They would not see sleep as a priority because of their obsessive love for the internet.

Internet addiction has four main categories that individuals experience namely: Sex, Games, Information and Relationships.


Gambling can be regarded as an activity which presents much fun and excitement. In some cases, it could be a recreational activity for some individuals. However, it could change from being something which is done casually, to a serious form of addiction.

Gambling is said to be an addiction when it is an activity which you cannot control, and with time you discover that it begins to affect important aspects of your life such as your social, recreational, financial and familial functioning.

Just like other forms of addiction, gambling addiction is linked with dopamine release which is around ten times beyond normal. This substance is known as a neurotransmitter which gives the good feeling, and it is usually active around the reward centres of the brain.

Hence, once you get the good feeling, it informs you that the activity is harmless, and craving the feeling would set in. Before you know it, the “harmless activity” has turned into what could be termed as a compulsive necessity.

One major effect which gambling addiction comes with, is financial instability. A person who is addicted to gambling would definitely not want to stop, as they always believe that luck would shine on them the next time. If they happen to lose next, there is always this urge to keep trying till they win. Before they know it, they would realize that much money has been invested into gambling, and it gets even worse for those who have savings, as it would be hard to keep up.

In addition to this, those who are addicted to gambling usually suffer from anxiety and depression. There are some forms of gambling activities which could require you to wait for some hours or days, before you can get the result of your gambling expedition. During this period of time, you would not be settled, as you would feel stressed and your thoughts would be disturbed.

If you happen to lose eventually, depression sets in, which has the capacity to make life even more difficult for you. If care is not taken, chronic depression could set in, which could result in you having suicidal thoughts.

Conclusively, gambling addiction draws you away from your family and friends, it strains your relationship, and with time, it results in you being isolated and lonely.

What is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is known to be a psychological disorder whereby an individual is unable to properly manage his or her sexual orgies, thus resulting in an insatiable desire for sex at a rate which is beyond normal. Several sexual thoughts are usually processed in the mind of a sexual addict, hence, it is usually difficult to control their sexual behaviour, and also unable to lead normal lives when it comes to their work, relationship amongst other essential life activities.

In another interesting twist, sex addiction could also surface in the life of a person who has a healthy sex life. Such person could become obsessed and get stimulated by actions and fantasies which are not generally acceptable.

Sex addiction has not been fully stated to be a medical condition, however, it has been known to unfavourably affect relationships, individual lives and families. Spotting someone who is addicted to sex might be a herculean one. This is based on the fact that people have different sexual drive or libido. For instance, someone who has a high sex drive could be considered to be an addict by someone who has a moderate sex drive.


1. Masturbation: Those who are addicted to sex might see themselves masturbating at a frequent rate, this happens usually because their sex drive has not been matched fully.

2. Pornography: This is closely related to masturbation, as those who are watch pornography would most likely masturbate in a bid to temporarily calm their sexual urge.

3. Unsafe sex practice: This is another activity which is bound to make one addicted to sex, as there would be an urge to further try out new things.

4. Patronizing prostitutes: A good number of sexual addicts would be found visiting prostitutes in order to satisfy their sexual urge.


Just like any other addiction, sex addiction could pose a difficult one to treat, one of such reasons for this is, the addicts themselves sorting reasons to justify their acts, and stating the absence of no problem.

The available treatment options are in place to ensure that this ultra-urge is reduced in a bid to improve other aspects of the individual’s life.

Self-help institutes can be of help to a sex addict, as such person would be offered some measures which would help in handling the situation.

Also, therapies and some medications might be of help to the addict to ensure that he or she gets back on track, and this would be more effective if the individual’s family and friends are available to give the needed support.

What is an Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a health condition which affects people irrespective of their location or nationality, it is known as the inability of an individual to cut down on the excessive intake of alcohol, and it is also the lack of ability to manage one’s drinking habits. Alcohol addiction is most times referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder.

Addiction to alcohol has three major categories which are: Minor, moderate and critical. For each category, there are diverse symptoms which could cause side effects. These side effects when not managed, could lead to aggravated health conditions.

People who are addicted to alcohol usually feel that their body can function naturally without alcohol. Hence, this could affect one’s career, relationship and health in general.


In some cases, the warning signs of alcohol are quite obvious, while in other cases, it could take time before it becomes noticeable.

Some of the caution signs include:

1. Inability to control the consumption of alcohol: When an individual finds it hard to control the way he or she ingests alcohol, it is a certified sign that such person is addicted.

2. Making alcohol the topmost priority: Alcohol addicts are fond of doing this a lot, so they can be easily spotted. A good number of them would place alcohol above other essential responsibilities.

3. Spending excessively on alcohol: When such individual does not mind spending a significant amount of money on alcohol, then the person is addicted, and surely needs help. In cases like this, the person is bound to be insolvent frequently.


Those who are suffering from alcohol addiction are advised not to suffer in silence, as there are potent treatments which are available to help overwhelm the effects of alcohol addiction. However, there is a peculiarity for each individual, as they would need to have their own recovery plan which would be based on their personal needs, and the treatment would be given based on a structure.

Generally, the first stage to alcohol addiction treatment is detoxification, this is when medications are given to individuals to ease the pain gotten from withdrawal.

Next is rehabilitation which ensures that addicted individuals partake in a recovery program which would run alongside with their normal life.

Lastly, is maintenance, this ensures that the therapy and other recovery steps are properly followed to the letter to guarantee that the affected individual gets back on track and leads a healthy and happy life

What is a Gambling Addiction?

There are quite a number of definitions of gambling, however, it can basically be defined as an agreement between two or more people which involves the betting or staking of money or valuables with the intent of winning more in return.

Gambling can be said to be exciting and fun, it can be regarded as a recreational activity which is considered low-risk for some set of people. However, for others, it has gone beyond being a casual activity to serious addiction.

Gambling attains the addiction stage when it becomes something beyond your control. As a matter of fact, it would be hard for either yourself or whoever is addicted, to get a handle on it. With time, it first begins to affect your financial life, then your social, familial, recreational and other aspects of your life.

Gambling addiction is referred to a compulsive disorder which is stated by the incapability to quit the act of gambling notwithstanding the losses which might be regular or intermittent. It is a treatable disorder which people often seek when they realize that they have lost almost all in their possession.

Gambling addiction can be likened to the high state which is gotten when hard drugs are ingested. In gambling, the winning mentality is total, hence, there is a drive which motivates the individual to chase the big win. The same applies to an individual who is hooked on hard drugs for the purpose of getting high.

Those who are addicted to gambling, would definitely lie about how much they are staking, and how frequent they gamble. This is usually done to prevent criticisms from their family and friends. However, they would definitely make it known to everyone whenever they win.

Also, they could go the extent of taking a loan in order to gamble, they do this with the hope that they would win big, and they would be able to repay the debt and still have enough on their hands. In sad cases, the reverse has been the case, as most of them usually end up being bankrupt, up to the point where they would have to sell their assets.

As a psychological disorder, addicted gamblers cannot quit on their own, they definitely need help, and it must be gotten from the right quarters. There are proven effective treatment options such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the likes, which would help to address this addiction.

What is a Food Addiction?

Food is quintessential to our survival and it is a necessary aspect of our wellness. Asides the pleasure and enjoyment which comes with taking in food, it also provides sustenance and satisfaction Food addiction can be referred to as the act of being hooked on junk food just the way people get addicted to drugs. The same areas in the brain, the neurotransmitters, are involved.

People who are suffering from food addiction often take foods which are high fat, sugar or salt content, and they activate the chemical reactions in the brain which generate the feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. With time, food addicts become reliant on these good feelings which foods in the aforementioned categories give. Hence, they become obsessed with taking them in order to experience and sustain those feelings.

As they continue to eat those foods, they overindulge, and they take in what is beyond the normal nutrition meant for optimum body growth and development. With this, there is a likely chance that there would be emotional, social and physical consequences for the food addict. Sadly, a food addict would still continue to indulge in this behaviour, irrespective of the fact that there are dire consequences attached to it.

To spot a food addict, you would need to be aware of some signs and symptoms attached to it. To start with, a food addict would take in more food than they can tolerate, and even eat to the point when they fall ill.

Also, they would ensure that they get a certain food even though it is not within their reach, this is one of the strong signs of a food addict. Even if it is at a point when they are not hungry, they would still find themselves eating.

Some of them could also go to the extent of eating in isolation, in order to ensure that they are not seen which could lead to them being criticized.

Food addiction could cause some physical effects such as: Diabetes, malnutrition, obesity, chronic pain, sleep disorders, lessened sex drive, headaches, stroke, arthritis, heart disease. Some psychological effects too could occur: depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, low self-esteem and a host of others.

Social effects such as: isolation, poor performance at work or school, avoidance of social hangouts and the likes could also be experienced.

It is essential to reach out to specialized food addiction treatment centres in order to receive the best help possible.

What is a Drug Addiction?

An addiction is a disease which does not only affect the brain, but also an individual’s behaviour. Once someone is addicted to drugs, it would be so difficult to resist the urge not to make use of the drug, not minding the fact if the drug in question is dangerous to the body.

An addicted individual finds it hard to stop and this could lead to the health of the individual being in grave danger. Asides the health, other aspects of the individual’s life such as family, emotional, financial amongst others, could experience a downward turn.

Drug addiction does not only have to be cocaine, heroin and the likes, it is possible for a person to be addicted to legal substances as well. An individual might choose to ingest a drug simply because the resultant feeling is surreal, and such individual wants a repeat version of this good feeling. The individual might then feel that it is easy to control its usage, if care is not taken, such individual could lose self-control which could then lead to destructive behaviours.


1. Urge to use the drug frequently: If an individual regularly craves for the need to use drugs, it is a strong indication that such individual is addicted. In this case, the drug might be used every day or several times in a day depending on the severity of the addiction.

2. The drug is always with you: When an individual is found to always be in the possession of drugs, it is a sign that the individual is addicted to the usage, and must seek urgent help.

3. Continuous usage of the drug not minding the consequence: For instance, if an individual does not care about getting into trouble at work for using a drug, this implies that such person is addicted.


Overcoming drug addiction is a gradual process which the addicted individual must be willing to pass through.
Detoxification is a sure step to treating drug addiction, as the body would be totally drained of all drugs, and the symptoms associated with withdrawal would be managed.

Also, such individual would need to undergo series of therapy, counselling and follow-up, to ensure that the individual does not experience what is called relapse. Medication could also suffice, as it is effective in combating mental health conditions gotten from drug addiction.

The Many Faces of Addiction

what addiction looks likeIdentifying a case of addiction can be difficult for a number of reasons. One reason is because addicts usually try to conceal their addictions and hide them away where the people in their lives cannot find them. Another reason is because the non-addicted person may not have a clear understanding of what addiction is and therefore not understand what they should be looking for or how they should interact with the addict. Addiction takes many forms, in both the range of things that one can be addicted to and how they affect that person’s behavior.

The two main different types of addictions are process addictions and substance addictions. A process addiction is when someone is addicted to a particular activity, such as sex, exercise or gambling. The person becomes obsessed with carrying out the activity in order to achieve a high from it. The other type of addiction is a substance addiction. This type of addiction relies on an ingested substance to initiate the high through altering the chemistry of the body and brain. Both produce the pleasure chemical dopamine within the brain which is the impetus for the repetitive addictive behavior.

Addiction creates some similar behavior patterns within people, but the way a person behaves under the influence of addiction is also very particular to that person. Some of the more common tells of an addict are as follows:

  • Time. An addict will plan and adjust their time around their addiction to make sure that a majority of their time goes to endulging in their addiction. If you see the person you suspect of being an addict begin to give less and less time to things that used to matter to them, at the same time they are being secretive of how they are reallocating their time, they may be an addict.
  • Money. Addicts invest a large portion of their money into their addiction. Some more than others, obviously, as some addictions are more expensive than others. For example, an addiction to alcohol or gambling are very costly addictions, where as someone can be addicted to sex or exercise on a budget. However, even the less expensive addictions add up as the person invests more and more into increasing their high.
  • Energy. The amount of energy a person will give to their addiction is staggering. They will stop putting their energy toward their relationships, thier job, their schooling and their responsibilities in order to give the best of themselves to their addiction.
  • Health. An addict’s health will deteriorate, either quickly or gradually, depending on their addiction. Substance addictions affect a persons health more rapidly where as process addictions affect a person’s health more slowly.

Understanding Addiction

.understand addictionTrying to understand addiction when you are not an addict is impossible. The reason it is impossible is because not even addicts understand why they do what they do. In fact, trying to understand addiction is a waste of time because there is no logic to follow. There is no logic to addiction, only destruction.

Addicts use their addiction to feel good, just like non-addicts use pleasurable things to feel good. Non-addicts may even distinguish their favorite pleasurable things to use more than others. The difference between an addict and a non-addict is that a non-addict is equipped with the ability to moderate their usage of pleasurable things and keep their lives in balance. They are aware of when they are overusing a pleasurable thing and it is having negative side effects on their life somewhere. Most importantly, they are equipped with the ability to stop doing the thing that is having negative effects on their lives, or at least reduce how often they use it. An addict does not come with this self preservation mechanism.

Mental health experts believe the reason that addiction exists boils down to dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical the brain produces during a pleasurable experience. Dopamine is what we spend much of our lives in pursuit of, as it signifies desirability and comfort. The brains of addicts have been revealed to not produce as much dopamine. Experts are unsure at this point what causes this stunted dopamine production, but it would seem that those who cannot create enough dopamine through the simple pleasures that everyone encounters turn to addictive substances as a way of gaining that much craved rush of dopamine.

If you are a non-addict trying to understand how an addict operates, the best thing you can do to empathize with them is reach out for help. Addiction treatment specialists, support groups and counselors can offer you excellent information to help you empathize with the plight of the addict in your life, as well as show you how to interact with them in a healthy way. There are addiction treatment services Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and in many more locations in North America.