Addiction – A Disease or Simply a Choice

People do not understand the reason behind addiction and the physiological changes in their physical and mental health. According to scientific researchers, addiction can alter vital brain chemicals and affect the overall mentality of a person. This article focuses more on addiction to harmful substances.

BLOGWhat-is-addiction-and-its-causes2Earlier, addiction referred to only psychoactive elements, such as tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc., which temporarily changes the chemical balance of the brain. According to medical research, psychologists and health experts opine that people have addiction not only to a particular substance but also for certain behaviors like gambling, sexual activities, etc.

Habit may ultimately change into addiction

A habit may generally develop into addiction. Innumerable people use substances or get involved in activities in spite of knowing the health hazards they get from such things. Initially, people are habituated to certain things, which eventually lead to addiction. Certain people may experience physical or psychological changes when their habit turns into addiction.

Difference between a habit and an addiction?

Habit – Habit is something that a person desires to do it repeatedly, it can be knowingly or unknowingly. Typically, it is a performed or practiced by choice. A person with a particular habit can prefer to stop it, if he/she desires. In short, a person can control his/her habit, as there is no physical or mental dependency.

Addiction – In addiction, a person fails to control or stop his/her addiction, as it is predominantly controlled by the physical and/or psychological elements. The conclusion is – a person becomes so dependent on a particular thing that he/she gets affected on physical as well as mental plane.

Causes and Risk Factors –

There are many causes and risk factors associated with addiction; however, few of them are not fully understood. It is generally a mixture of physical, mental and emotional factors. It is really difficult to find out why some people get addicted and some do not. Health experts believe that there are many factors that are accompanied to the development of addiction, such as –

 • Genetic influence: Experts opine that there is a definite genetic link to addiction. Suppose your parents or family members are struggling with addiction towards a substance, then you are prone to develop that behavior. However, other potential factors are also responsible for the development of addiction.

 • Alterations in brain: Factually, the brain is responsible for all the elements and activities that are related with addiction. Any alteration in brain or rise in the levels of chemicals or neurotransmitters can give rise to substance addiction.

 • Bad experiences in past: People who had traumatic experiences such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse are often vulnerable to addiction. Some young adults consume alcohol and drugs to overcome their painful past, which can ultimately lead to substance addiction.

 • Mental health issues: Addiction seems more common amongst people with mental health problems like anxiety, depression, fear, unwanted frustration, etc. According to medical researches, people with psychological issues often use addictive substances to escape from the pain.

 • Prolonged stress: Using some substances to cope up with chronic stress can become a habit. Anticipatory anxiety, feeling of hopelessness, disappointment and other emotional issue lead to addiction. Furthermore, addiction can also be influenced by poverty, joblessness and low socio-economic status.

There are some factors you can implement to protect and prevent yourself form addiction. You can follow the below-mentioned ways to get rid of your addiction –

 • Get support from your family members, relatives and friends

 • Planning realistic goals and try to implement and accomplish them.

Indulge in physical activities such as sports, music, dance, etc.

 • Get involved in social activities voluntarily

 • If you are chronically addicted to a substance, consult your medical practitioner or join a rehabilitation center.