1. What is addiction?

Addiction is often defined as the liking for a thing or activity that goes beyond self-control and restraint and takes dangerous shapes. Usually, people have a certain controlled degree of addiction in daily life. However, people with addiction to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, drug abuse, gambling or laziness, lead unhealthy lifestyles which later take a toll on their physical and mental health. Non harmful addiction include listening to music, sleeping, painting, dance, gaming and other such activities which are usually undertaken in normal life, but find more usage by people addicted to them.

However, addiction to anything is bad when the person becomes dependent on it for major portion of the day. Addiction can be of two types, substance addition and behavioural addiction. Substance addiction refers to dependence on a particular substance like marijuana, nicotine or alcohol. Behavioural addiction involves dependence upon habits like gambling, laziness, swearing and so on.

2. Risk factors for addiction?

The main risk factors that can lead to addictive behaviour include mental illness, family history, alcoholism, gender, peer pressure, loneliness, age, stress, and specific body metabolism.

3. Physical signs of addiction?

Addictive behaviour can be easily detected by observing physical symptoms like dilated pupils, dark circles around the eye, sleepiness, confused thinking, slurred speech, withdrawal from society and general disregard to surroundings and people. The patient keeps visiting the habit and is unable to experience happiness or contentment unless he is able to revive the habit. Also, in worst cases, having hidden stocks of the substance that you are addicted to, like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol is a sure sign of addiction.

4. What should you do if you are addicted?

If you are found to be addicted to a substance of behaviour and want to get rid of it, then you should identify the factors, time and age when you actually fell unto the addiction. Also, weaning away those factors like friends and activities that have led you to your addiction will help you control your addiction and even get rid of it without much hassle. Try not to leave the addiction at one go since it may have strong withdrawal symptoms and affect the body balance entirely. Let go of the addiction slowly thereby, allowing the body to get used to the change. You can consult a therapist or enrol in a program that helps you attain this.

5. How can you protect yourself from addiction?

A disciplined lifestyle will always help you protect yourself from addiction. This is a long term solution. Keeping a check on the number of hours dedicated to different activities and habits will also help you check against addiction. Self control and discipline together with therapy and professional guidance will help you protect yourself from addiction to a detrimental habit.

6. Why people are addicted to smoking?

Smoking is often a time-pass activity amongst youngsters and middle aged people and when undertaken using control smoking does not have harmful consequences on a person’s health. Nicotine is known to cause deposition in lungs of smokers that can lead to lung failure or cancer in chain smokers. People who are addicted to smoke consider it a status symbol of the elite and rich classes of society and feel high amongst friends. Nicotine that mixes with the blood is transported to the brain, where it activates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. When inhaled in large numbers, excess amounts of dopamine are released in the brain. This allows the person to experience stress relief and enhanced brain activity, a condition that he wants to enjoy forever by taking in more and more nicotine through smoking. This leads to addiction.

7. Why people are addicted to drinking?

Alcohol drinking is not always an addiction for people who like to control their intake or go for non-alcoholic breaks in between the time when they drink regularly. Drinking allows people to experience partial aloofness from the world, which encourages them to resort to it to unwind or distress. In the long run, presence of alcohol in the blood becomes a necessity while staying away from alcohol leads to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be stressful like sweating, nausea, restlessness, depression and so on. People fall back into the addiction in order to get relief from these withdrawal symptoms.

8. Why people are addicted to drugs?

People are addicted to drugs because they experience an induced state of happiness or high which lasts for three to four hours after every dose of a drug. The intake of compounds like THC in the blood vessels increases when the drug is directly injected in the veins. The heart rate immediately rises to double its normal rate and the blood sugar and blood pressure immediately lower. As a result, the person experiences a bliss that is harmful to the body. In his thirst to revisit these experiences, the person starts taking these doses frequently and this leads to addiction. The most important part of addiction with drugs is the feeling of depression and vacancy that results after each drug dose session of three to four hours is over. The general mood of the patient is negative and irritable in such cases.

9. Why people are addicted to laziness?

Sleep can be a detrimental addiction as it leads to increased laziness in people. People get addicted to laziness because in spite of staying behind the crowd, they still manage to pull through their main responsibilities. However, sedentary and lazy lifestyles give rise to an unbalanced mental and physical constitution that lead to diseases like depression, obesity, and obstructive diseases in vascular, digestive and circulatory systems.

10. Why people are addicted to junk food?

People get addicted to junk food owing to the chemicals and colours used in the products, which make them look alluring and taste heavenly. The false notion of nutrition in taste comes with an assurance that the person does not have to cook the item before partaking it. Readymade junk food is therefore an easy way out from gruelling daily schedules. Also, their abundant availability in today’s society makes us dependent upon them unknowingly.

11. Why are people addicted to gambling?

Gambling is a behavioural addiction that happens when one develops a lust towards earning easy money through gaming. Luck might favour a person at certain times, but the rest of the addiction develops from a want to win, and not earn, more money. People who start with online rummy, casinos and poker games seem to fall prey to such addiction and convert to gamblers in real life these days. This affects their lifestyle, health and social balance often.

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