How do you become addicted?
Causes of addiction
Addiction does not always have a clear cause, such as childhood problems or a traumatic experience. It can also gradually develop through regular use. There are often various factors that influence addiction.
Stages of addiction
When addiction develops through regular use, there are often different stages of addiction, where you gradually build up from occasional use to dependence. This starts with experimenting with the substance or behavior. Then this can change to regular or social use, such as with drugs or alcohol.
Ultimately, this can lead to compulsive use. In this case, you often use the substance or behavior to suppress unpleasant feelings or you need more and more to experience a certain feeling. You also no longer drink or use together in this phase, but almost always alone.
When are you addicted?
How does addiction develop?
The development of addiction depends on various sociological, psychological, and biological factors.
Your environment can influence your addiction. If you grow up in an environment where substance use is more common or if your parents have an addiction, the likelihood of developing an addiction yourself is higher. Addiction can also arise from experimenting with friends.
Certain psychological factors make you more vulnerable to addiction. If you have depression or trauma, you may start using alcohol or drugs to feel better. Behavioral addiction also often starts as a distraction from other problems. Substance use is also more common in borderline or ADHD.
Biological factors include genetic vulnerability. Someone can be genetically more susceptible to addiction than someone else. Your lifestyle, diseases, and medication use can also influence your susceptibility to addiction. The type of drug also has an impact in substance addiction. Not all drugs have the same effect on your brain, which makes some drugs more addictive (such as heroin) than others (such as cannabis).
Influence of addiction on your brain
In biological factors, your brain plays a major role. The use of drugs and alcohol has a direct impact on your brain. When you use drugs or alcohol, more dopamine is produced in your brain. Dopamine makes you feel satisfied and rewarded, which activates the reward system in your brain. Repetition of certain behaviors, such as gambling, can also have the same effect. This pleasant feeling can cause you to use more or repeat certain behaviors.
As you use more, your brain becomes less sensitive to your natural reward system. This causes you to develop a dependence on certain behaviors, such as sex addiction, porn addiction, food addiction, or gambling addiction.
Comprehensive addiction treatment
To treat addiction, it is important to consider all underlying factors in your treatment. At U-center, we look at all biological, psychological, and sociological factors that influence your addiction and tailor your treatment plan accordingly. In an intensive 7-week treatment, you will receive various therapies to overcome your addiction.
This page has been professionally reviewed on medical accuracy
At U-center, we understand the importance of providing reliable and accurate information to our visitors. That's why we have experts in the field review our website to ensure that all information presented is medically accurate.
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Addiction Specialist Doctor
Hans Zander is a dedicated addiction specialist at U-center who has reviewed this page to ensure that all information is accurate and reliable.
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