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The Difference Between Substance and Non-Substance Addiction

“Addiction” is a word that gets thrown around casually these days. Modern society has grown increasingly sensitive to the plight of those who struggle with addiction. However, it has also become a word that is often used to describe casual preferences or habits. The danger of addiction is in how few people understand it. Overgeneralizing the term detracts from the severity of its existence in people’s lives.

Addiction is a devastating disease. There is nothing cute or charming about it. It’s not a funny little quirk that makes us who we are. Those who struggle with addiction struggle with it daily. It takes over thoughts, actions, and sometimes even bodies. Addiction can compromise jobs, strain relationships, and keep individuals from developing into the people they were meant to be. Understanding addiction and the need for treatment is the first step to fighting it as a community rather than accepting it as commonplace.

2 Types of Addiction

The variety of substances or behaviors to become addicted to is seemingly endless. With the rapid development of technology, the list is getting even longer. However, there are only two categories to keep in mind when confronting the reality of addiction.

Non-Substance Addiction

Also known as a behavioral addiction, non-substance addiction is the addiction to self-defeating or harmful behaviors that consume the thoughts and actions of a person in their daily lives. Common examples of this kind of addiction are gambling and sexual addiction.

However, the advancement of technology has led to other activities being recognized as behavioral addictions. Internet addiction, phone addiction, and even video game addiction are being studied at length to determine the level of destruction they can have on the life of an individual.

The key to understanding non-substance addiction is that it is centered around behavior that can take many forms. An uncontrollable craving for sex can manifest itself in ways far beyond the act of sex itself. Gambling can take the form of poker, horse racing, or even bets on office pools at work. The addiction can be fed through numerous channels, hence the danger of non-substance addiction hiding for several years before being diagnosed.

Substance Addiction

Substance addiction is often what people think of when they think of addiction. When a person is struggling with substance addiction, they feel an uncontrollable dependence on or craving for a specific substance that falls under the category of a drug.

Substance addiction can range from alcohol dependence to opiate abuse. However, the desire is based on feeding the body with a particular substance. While substance abuse is a behavior, it is a behavior that manifests itself in one form.

Finding Treatment

Regardless of whether or not addiction is substance or behavior-based, treatment is always the best option. While addiction has no cure, it is a manageable disease that, when treated, can lead to a full life filled with possibilities. Realizing that a problem exists and asking for help is the first step to healing.

Addiction is a serious disease that can affect anybody. Whether you struggle with addiction yourself or know someone who is struggling, treatment is always the answer. Non-substance and substance addiction are treatable. No one has to live their lives with the misery of feeding their addiction every day. The Guest House offers numerous treatment options to help you or someone you love on the path to recovery and can provide the healing you need to move forward. Call (855) 483-7800 for more information on treatment options.