Substance Addictions Versus Process Addictions
Alavi et al (2012) discussed the difficulties in defining the concept of addiction but the authors believed that the core component for defining the addiction concept is “the dependence on a substance (Alavi et al, 2012).” Substance abuse is a pattern of an individual using a substance to achieve a mood altering purpose. Another reason individuals seek out substances can be due to depression or negative self-esteem, they look at the substance as a chance to escape or as a way to feel in power over their own life. Over time this can develop into a serious problem as the addiction takes hold causing the individual to ...view middle of the document...
Smith (2012) reported that there are certain behaviors that cause a “surge of dopamine in the midbrain are the biological substrate for addictive behavior (Smith, 2012). Capuzzi & Stauffer (2012) define process addiction as an addiction to behavior, process, or action. This type of addiction is not based on the consumption of a substance, but on the feelings that are associated with a particular behavior. This type of addiction has the same withdrawal symptoms that are associated with substance addiction, the difference being that the individual is withdrawing from the feeling that behavior evoked or from the behavior itself. Process addictions unlike substance addictions are missing the physical symptoms that are present in substance addiction scenarios (Alavi et al, 2012).” The individual suffering from a process addiction does exhibit symptoms of needing that behavior as well as physical symptoms of withdrawal when the addict is denied that behavior. Capuzzi & Stauffer (2012) speak of the imperative that when diagnosing someone with a process addiction that it is ensured that it is a process addiction and not an undesirable social behavior. An undesirable social behavior can lead to awkwardness and silences but is not itself an addiction.
Types of Process Addiction
Capuzzi and Stauffer (2012) discuss what they consider to be the most common process addictions of sexual addiction, gambling addiction, work addiction, compulsive buying, food addiction, and disordered eating. The authors define aspects of sexual addiction as “compulsively fantasizing about sexual desires, remaining in harmful codependent relationships; engaging in compulsive masturbation; obsessive and compulsive use of pornography, including on the internet, and repeatedly engaging in promiscuous sexual relationships. (Capuzzi and Stauffer, 2012).” Gambling addiction is a preoccupation with gambling and betting; money problems caused by overspending due to this behavior. Work addiction is commonly known as “workaholism” which is an...