Everything you need to know about addictions

We all have some vices and certainly some addictions that do not necessarily give a negative connotation, because in the end who does not like coffee or cola, right? Or how many people smoke around us and do not have visible behavioral problems that scare us away from them. Well, having an addiction to coffee, tobacco, cola doesn’t seem so bad, but what about the alcohol and drug addiction that is already turning our lives into something we don’t like as much? 

Find out more about this below! 

What constitutes an addiction?

The term “addiction” can mean many things to many people. For our purposes we define addiction as follows – addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.

Addiction is also an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. The term addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine, there can be many other substances. 

Practically, addiction is a powerful stimulant (some even very strong) that gives and causes a certain state of mind or condition. Basically, this is what people actually look for in an addiction, they’re looking to change their mood, mental state, emotional state. 

Addictions are also shelters but at the same time, they are actually tricks because they give some ‘feelings’ but they come with a very large baggage of side effects or harmful effects on the body. Addicted people take refuge in these illusions to escape reality.

What are the 5 characteristics of addictive behavior?

The signs and symptoms vary from one addiction type to another, but some common symptoms of addiction include:

  • An inability to stop.
  • Changes in mood, appetite, and sleep.
  • Continuing despite negative consequences.
  • Denial.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Feeling preoccupied with the substance or behavior.

Do you recognize yourself in the behaviors above? We hope not but let’s see below some common addictions people sometimes don’t find so negative.

Which are the most common addictions?

There can be several types of addictions and we’ll talk about each one because they are different – some may be less bad and abusive to the body, and some more.

  1. Coffee

Although it is recommended by many people as an antioxidant or diuretic, only occasional coffee consumption is recommended. When coffee is consumed daily, it becomes addictive. Maybe on the surface, it doesn’t look so bad, because everyone consumes coffee in different combinations. But did you really know the true effect of coffee on the body?

Biofeedback devices can help. By using the NUCLEUS, for example, we can even see the exact moment of the day you drink your coffee, and the effect this has on your pancreas for example.  Coffee is a very powerful stimulant, meaning it gives an electric shock to the pancreas. It secretes a large amount of insulin for just a little coffee. Basically, the pancreas is depleted to secrete a lot of insulin in the case of coffee. People say that coffee has given them energy, but it is false because it is the body’s own energy squeezed to the maximum.

For most people, coffee is the very first drink they drink in the morning, even before a glass of water. And all this is seen in the matrix of a biofeedback device, which gives us the diagnosis but also the solution.

  1. Cigarettes

Nicotine is the known addictive substance in tobacco. Regular use of tobacco products leads to addiction in many users. Nicotine is a drug that occurs naturally in tobacco and it’s thought to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. 

Is smoking a habit or addiction?

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary—and addictive—high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine causes your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

How addictive is a cigarette?

Nicotine dependence occurs when you need nicotine and can’t stop using it. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that makes it hard to quit. Nicotine produces pleasing effects in your brain, but these effects are temporary. If withdrawal occurs and e person wants to quit smoking, they can experience actual physical cravings such as a tightness in the throat or belly, accompanied by feelings of tension or anxiety.

  1. Alcohol

Alcoholism is the most serious form of problem drinking and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink. Sufferers of alcoholism will often place drinking above all other obligations, including work and family, and may build up a physical tolerance or experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop.

For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week.

Drinking too much puts you at risk for some cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast. It can affect your immune system. If you want to know more about the immune system and how to take care of it, check out QUANTUM MEDICAL blog and interesting articles. 

So if you drink every day or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu, or other illnesses more frequently than people who don’t drink.

The liver is the most ‘abused’ organ when it comes to alcohol. Generally, symptoms of alcoholic liver disease include abdominal pain and tenderness, dry mouth and increased thirst, fatigue, jaundice (which is yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, and nausea. Your skin may look abnormally dark or light. Your feet or hands may look red. 

  1. Drugs 

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine also are considered drugs. 

After repeated drug use, the brain starts to adjust to the surges of dopamine. Neurons may begin to reduce the number of dopamine receptors or simply make less dopamine. The result is less dopamine signaling in the brain—like turning down the volume on the dopamine signal.

Addiction develops when the urge to take a substance hijacks parts of the brain that reward behavior and provides benefits for the body. Substance-related disorders also impact the area of the brain responsible for emotions and decision-making.

How can we deal with our addictions?

As a concept, the five Cs of addiction were created to distill the disease of addiction to its most fundamental parts. They have since become a useful way to accurately describe or even identify addiction.

What are the five C’s of addiction?

  • COMPULSIVE use.
  • Loss of CONTROL.
  • Continued use despite negative CONSEQUENCES.
  • CRAVINGS.
  • CHRONIC maladaptive behaviors.

As we all know, the first step in fixing a problem is accepting we have one, right? Changes in your brain caused by addictions can make quitting difficult, but it is important to remember that addictions are treatable. With the right plan and resources, recovery is possible. The good news is that you can quit, although it’s a complicated process.

Such resources include biofeedback therapy and treatment, which not only diagnoses the exact addictions you have and the effects they have on your body but also relieves the symptoms and can help you get through them, to a life without addictions.