The keys to understanding addiction

When talking about addiction, it’s important to know exactly what that term refers to..

We speak of dependence when there is a psychological dependence, that is to say when the person cannot do without the reason for his addiction and begins to become the center of his life. The person loses control and begins to act compulsively causing a deterioration in the quality of life.

    The keys to understanding addiction

    There are many variations of a possible dependency. Although addiction to substances (heroin, cocaine, alcohol, designer drugs, etc.) seems to be more common, there are other possibilities, such as gambling, shopping, gambling, cell phone use, food addiction, etc. etc. In fact, due to the advancement of new technologies, the appearance of new addictions such as mobile addiction or online betting has increased, among others.

    When the addiction is at a very early stage, it is difficult to detect it because the addict goes to great lengths to hide what is going on. Feeling out of control over own behavior, ashamed or the fear of the reactions of people in the environment cause this psychological disorder to evolve without the relatives being able to know it and without the drug addict being able to receive the necessary help.

    Always with all that, it is possible to begin to appreciate certain changes in the person’s behavior. These can be detected in particular by close people, because they are not typical behaviors of their loved one. Some of these behaviors that we can pay attention to to see if something is wrong are the following:

    • Change your routines and behaviors
    • Mood and mood changes
    • Changes even in who you’re interested in
    • He starts to lie to maintain his addiction
    • Changes in their social, family and personal relationships are starting to be observed
    • Your performance at work may be affected
    • Put responsibilities aside
    • it’s isolated
    • He steals money from his relatives to invest in his addiction
    • Stop doing things you used to love etc.

    Detecting an addiction in time can make all the difference to determine what the recovery process will look like. In other words, the longer it takes to detect it, the more it will be established in the person’s life, the more these thought and behavior patterns will be consolidated. That’s not to say that no solution can be found anyway.

    The problem is usually that it is usually detected quite late. Usually it is family and friends who start to see that something is wrong; they notice changes in the person’s behavior, mood swings, changes in habits and routines.

    Fewer times the person recognizes the problem on their own or takes the first step towards recovery. They are often pushed by other people or by circumstances.

      Where can the origin be?

      It is difficult to establish a single cause for the development of an addiction because, for example, not all people who use a substance will develop an addiction, which means that there are several factors to consider.

      From this perspective, it is necessary to understand addiction in a bio-psycho-social way, Where the factors should be assessed at the following levels.


      here the genetic part of the person is particularly relevant. For example, some studies indicate that the children of dependent people are more likely to develop an addiction in the future.


      Here come into play all aspects of the person in his interaction with the eentos of his daily life, such as his tolerance to frustration or stress, social skills, self-esteem, insecurity, self-control. , the search for new sensations, personality types, etc …

      Environmental or contextual part

      Influencing factors such as living in dysfunctional families, without rules or poor communication between parents and children, as well as social pressure, wanting to feel part of a group, lack of values ​​or affection, publicity, Media, stereotypes, etc …

      What to do with an addiction: first steps

      The possible scenarios that we may come across to start looking for a solution are as follows.

      Person’s initiative

      As I mentioned earlier, it is more difficult for the addict to take the first step in seeking help, but it could be a possible situation. In this case, the first step is for the person to recognize what is happening to them and maybe finding someone they trust to talk to can be a good help.

      Once these steps have been taken, it is time to seek professional help to begin to find a solution and to get the person out of their addiction.

      Third party initiative

      The other and most common scenario is that one or more people in the environment realize that something is wrong and it is these people who begin the process of seeking help. They don’t usually know how to handle the situation either; it is something new to them, there is uncertainty, and fear of what their loved one will be like and lack of information can make it difficult to manage. Staying calm and seeking professional information and advice can be a good place to start..


      Unfortunately, overcoming an addiction is not easy and most people need professional help to do so, which is not a sign of weakness, but of strength to recognize a problem and be willing to do it. face.

      Author: Laura Álvarez Martínez, psychologist and member of the Online Therapy Center

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