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Addiction: Past Pleasure and Into Impairment In Mental Health

Some people are able to use substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or drugs in a way that does not interfere with other aspects of their lives. Other people, however, begin using one or more of these substances and continue to do so despite the fact that this behavior is impairing their ability to function. If individuals are unable to control their use of drugs or alcohol, despite being aware of the harmful consequences, they are said to have a substance use disorder or an addiction.

Addictive Behaviors and Substances

It is possible for people to develop an addiction to certain behaviors; an example of this is gambling disorder (also known as compulsive gambling or gambling addiction). This is currently the only behavioral addiction listed in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, the DSM-5 identifies Internet Gaming Disorder as a condition that could potentially be included as a formal disorder once further research has been conducted and evaluated.

There are also many substances to which people might become addicted. These include tobacco, alcohol, stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine), marijuana, inhalants (paint thinners, glue), hallucinogens (PCP, LSD), opioids (oxycodone, codeine, heroin), and sedatives (tranquilizers). For any substance, individuals may need to seek addiction treatment Yorktown Heights NY.

Signs of Addiction

It is not always obvious whether someone is using drugs or alcohol in an unhealthy manner. Changes in a person’s physical health can be a possible indicator of addiction; the individual might appear to have rapidly gained or lost weight, to have decreased motivation, or to lack energy. Neglecting one’s appearance could be another sign; the person may no longer seem interested in proper grooming or the condition of his or her clothing.

Problems at work or school might also become obvious; frequent absences, a sudden disengagement, or a drop in performance could occur. As well, behavioral changes might take place; the individual may become secretive about where he or she has been going or begin selling possessions to get enough money to support the problematic substance use.

It is helpful to know that there is help for people with addictions.