Addictive behaviours, let’s take a moment to think about that! Anyone – no matter their creed, is capable of becoming addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn – you name it. Everyone in the whole world might slip one day and spiral down into the despair addiction brings. There is no need to feel ashamed, unworthy, or alone because of an addiction. It can happen to anyone. Most of the time, the only thing separating an addicted person from a non-addicted person is circumstance.
With that in mind, we need to realise that there are some behaviours we perform, as individuals, that lead us to use our substance of choice. Whether it be our decision making process, our reaction to the world around us, or our situation in life: recognising these patterns of addictive behaviour is the first step towards breaking them.
Today we want to discuss how you recognise addictive behaviour. If you can identify it in yourself you can avoid treading a well-trodden path all over again. If you learn to see them in others you may just save a life one day.
What we mean by ‘Addictive Behaviours’
Before we begin: if you, or someone you love, is struggling with addiction then we here at Help 4 Addiction are ready to point you in the right direction. Whether you need rehab in York or are worried about the cost of rehab clinics – we are here for you. Call us now on 0203 955 7700 for a free, informal chat about addiction.
An addictive behaviour is a key action, trigger, stimulus or pattern, that prompts us to become ‘addicted’. There are several different type of addiction, but no matter where you fall on the list you are likely to experience many of the same triggers and behavioural patterns.
Some well-known, recurring addictions we frequently deal with include:
- Gambling addiction
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction – Cocaine addiction, heroin addiction and prescription drug addiction being the most common
- Binge eating disorders
- Mental health problems arising from addiction
This is by no means a full list, but it should give you an idea of the type of addictions that are united by the display of addictive behaviours.
If you or a loved one is displaying the common addictive behaviours we cover in this article then call us now for some real addiction advice.
Interpreting Addictive Behaviours
Some of the patterns, triggers, or warning signs that all addictions have in common are detailed below.
The Act is no longer Fun
One addictive behaviour that lots of addictions share is that the act they are prompted to perform is like a chore. If they are addicted to alcohol they no longer enjoy the taste. If they are smokers, they no longer like smoking. If you are performing an action over and over again without taking any satisfaction from it then you may have an addiction problem.
Addicts Try to Quit but Can’t
Many addictions can be categorized by someone who either a) thinks they can quit whenever they like but doesn’t dare try to in case they are proved wrong; or b) has tried to quit several times unsuccessfully. If you or your loved one is struggling to quit then it means they are probably in trouble. This is a good rule for everything from smoking to heroin addiction.
They Attempt Substitution
Also sometimes called ‘cross-addiction’, many addicts will replace the craving, need, or desire with another that brings its own reward. Substituting a cigarette for a cup of tea might work to help recover – but substitution can be dangerous, too.
Cross-addiction is necessary for the likes of heroin addiction. In this instance we replace heroin with methadone addiction because meth is far easier to come off of than heroin is. The addiction can then be managed back down to size until the addict is weaned off everything, once and for all. This is a lengthy, necessary process, and should not be confused with, for example, replacing your alcohol addiction with a cocaine addiction. In the latter example, substitution has gone badly and made things far worse.
They Hide Behaviours
If a person is drinking without telling you about it then they may have an alcohol addiction. Similarly, if you sometimes use recreational drugs with a person (we have all done it) but they start to take those drugs when they are alone. A marijuana addiction, for example, can stem from infrequent use. [ii]
If you think your friend is hiding their drug taking, drinking, gambling, or eating disorder, from their family then you may have an addiction on your hands. You can contact us for some free advice or visit our pages here online for a free consultation.
It Becomes Compulsive
After repetitively taking the same substance day in and day out for a prolonged period of time, some substances will chemically alter your bodily makeup. This means you are compulsively taking the substance in order to stay lucid. Someone in the throes of a bad alcohol addiction will need one or two drinks just to feel ‘normal’. Addictive behaviours like this are key signs of an addiction that is taking over the user’s life.
Knowing when to Get Help for Addiction
Knowing when to get help for addiction in the UK – or anywhere else in the world – is easier than you think. All you need to do is pick up the phone and reach out, the second you think you or your loved one may be in trouble. In the UK, you can get rehab on the NHS. Getting off drugs or coming off alcohol is a real possibility for the determined. All it takes is willpower, help from our specialists and a good rehab facility.
Call us on 0203 955 7700 to find a rehab facility near you. A journey of a thousand paces starts with a single step. Let this be your step. You could do wonderful things with the rest of your life.