Addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that is characterized by the physical inability to stop compulsive behaviour, despite the harmful consequences to self and others. This condition affects the brain and behavioural patterns, causing the repeated involvement with substances such as drugs, or activities like gambling. When an individual experiences addiction, the normal brain function is compromised, which causes the compulsive craving of a reward. This causes the individual to become dependent on the substance or activity to cope with daily life.


Most experts generally recognize two types of addiction:

  • Substance Addiction
  • Behavioural Addiction

Substance Addiction refers to the addiction that involves the use of physical substances such as alcohol, nicotine and opioids. These substances are classified as psychoactive or mood altering drugs that causes chemical changes to the brain. As the individual continues to use the substance, it becomes extremely difficult to resume day to day activities without using the specific substance.

Behavioural Addictions, also called “Process Addiction” refers to an individual becoming addicted to certain activities like gambling, sex and gaming. This form of addiction causes dependency and cravings to a certain behaviour. It is increasingly being debated by healthcare professionals and psychologists, many of whom believe that these conditions should be recognised officially because of the feeling it creates such as anxiety and shame.


Even though individuals of any age, sex or economic status can develop an addiction, certain risk factors can have a significant influence on increasing the chances of addiction:

  • Family history: It is more common for drug addiction to exist in some families, which suggests the likely involvement of genetic predisposition.
  • Peer pressure: This is a strong risk factor in many individuals experimenting with, and misusing drugs which is particularly seen in younger people.
  • Highly addictive drugs: Some drugs such as opioids or cocaine can result in a faster development of addiction.
  • Inability to cope with stress: Using drugs can become a method to cope with loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
  • Early use: Experimenting with drugs from a young age can cause changes to the brain and increase the chances of progressing to a drug addiction.

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If you know of a loved one suffering from addiction, displaying symptoms of loss of control, cravings and compulsive behaviour despite the negative consequences, then reach out to us for help on 073 470 4649. We make it our priority to provide the most suitable placement for effective treatment for individuals battling with addiction. We are here to help you.

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