Vice or addiction?

Colloquially, people who use certain addictive substances are considered to be vicious. The problem arises when we consider that the person may be able to cope on their own and if they don’t do it “because they don’t want to”.

When you consider that a substance can be voluntarily quit whenever she wants without making any type of change in her lifestyle.

    Beyond Will

    According to the World Health Organization, an addiction is a physical and psychoemotional illness that creates an addiction or craving for a substance, behavior, or relationship. It is a progressive and chronic disease that affects the personal, professional and family spheres.

    It is a biopsychosocial pathology, characterized by an affectation in three main areas, the biological, where there is a progressive deterioration of cognitive abilities, psychological, considering the person as necessary for its functioning and social, characterized by a deterioration of friendships and of the family and therefore social isolation.

      How does addiction develop?

      We can speak of the fact that there is a physical and psychological dependence when three or more of the following factors are met within a 12 month period:

      • Strong desire to use the substance or engage in the behavior.
      • Difficulty controlling consumption.
      • Abstinence syndrome when interrupting or reducing consumption.
      • tolerance
      • Gradual abandonment of interests unrelated to consumption (everything revolves around).
      • Persistence in substance use despite perception of deterioration or harmful effects.

        The nature of dependencies

        Currently, the most widely used drugs are alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepines. On the other hand, we find other types of addictions to substances on the rise, in particular addictions to new technologies and to video games, as well as pathological gambling.

        Note that if addictions without substances do not generate an imbalance of the central nervous system produced directly by the substance, they there is a change in the brain, especially in the reward system, especially in the nucleus accumbens, responsible for regulating such basic behaviors as eating and sleeping, which are impaired in addicted people, as well as sex, well-being and pleasure, increasing this desire for immediate gratification. Likewise, more areas are included that are affected after consumption, such as the prefrontal cortex, responsible for attention and concentration, and other areas of the brain.

        When an addiction is generated, everything revolves around consumption in the individual, without interest but for its own consumption. Obtaining and consumption are planned throughout the day, gradually leaving the priorities, responsibilities and involvement of the people around him. Consumption is the source of motivation for the dependent person, the rest takes second place. It is considered a person’s coping mechanism, even if it is dysfunctional, since the person considers it essential for proper functioning, or to suppress physical or psychological discomfort.

        At the beginning of consumption, the benefits of consumption are obtained, such as alcohol “to socialize”, or cocaine “to surrender” or even cannabis to “relax or not to think”, although consumption does not apparently does not generate negative consequences despite the fact that there is damage even in the first consumptions at the cerebral level., the person is not aware of it. The problem arises when this consumption becomes more periodic or more constant over time, in greater quantity and when negative consequences appear, such as arguments, absence from work or a drop in performance, deterioration of social and family relations, physical and cognitive deterioration, including the inability to perform activities of daily living.

        People with an addiction they need the behavior or substance as a method of escape from those situations or circumstances that generate discomfort. On the other hand, they consider consumption as a source of satisfaction, finding in consumption the source of their well-being or tranquility, through the reduction of anxiety, pain… favoring consumption, for immediate gratification, rather than other benefits a largo plazo like achieving goals, which take time and effort.

          Do you need help?

          If you find yourself in this situation or identify that there is someone in your family with this problem, do not hesitate to contact us.

          From Blanca Esther Psychology Center we will be happy to help you.

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