Behavioral Addiction and Drug Rehab in South Florida: Dual Diagnosis

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The Recovery Team and drug rehab Florida works with each patient to understand their unique needs.

Our team of medical professionals guides you to achieve your specific recovery goals.

We create individualized treatment plans tailored to you and treat behavioral addiction alongside substance abuse to help individuals overcome personal struggles.

In many cases, substance abuse and mental health disorders occur with other types of addictions. This is known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders, and these non-chemical dependencies are called process or behavioral addictions.

Unlike substance abuse disorders, behavioral addictions do not create a physical dependency. Still, millions of individuals in The United States suffer from them.   

What is Behavioral Addiction?

Process or behavioral addiction disorders happen when a compulsive behavior repeats and causes negative outcomes in an individual’s life. Despite the poor consequences these behaviors have, you might still feel the need to engage them. As a result of the repeated behavior, people suffer from mental or physical health issues. 

Behavioral addictions have the ability to create trouble for a person at home, work, and in relationships. Most people are aware of the consequences that come as a result. However, they feel like they are unable to simply stop. This is why seeking treatment for a behavioral addiction can be beneficial. 

It is hard to pinpoint one exact definition of behavioral addiction because there are several different types. Individuals can have addictions to gaming, gambling, and food as well as sex, purging, and even the Internet. Learn all about behavioral addictions, and the different types below.

Substance Abuse vs. Behavioral Addiction 

Substance abuse disorders or addiction to drugs and alcohol occurs when a person is using some form of substance to achieve an outcome. Both illicit and legal forms of drugs and alcohol come into play when dealing with substance abuse addiction. Continuous substance use disorder causes individuals to build a tolerance to the desired drug. Over time, substance abuse and addiction alter the way brains operate.

Overuse makes it feel as though the body needs these drugs or alcohol in order to function, resulting in extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms most of the time.

The largest difference when comparing substance abuse with behavioral addiction is the lack of a substance being consumed. In behavioral addiction, there are no physical signs or effects, unlike drug addiction. With behavioral addiction, mental health issues come into play as the behavior can often not be avoided so easily as a drug might be detoxed. 

According to the American Psychological Association, behavioral patterns that are repetitive, extremely hard to stop, and excessively used are considered addictions. Individuals tend to develop cravings and find it extremely difficult to stop engaging in such activity. You are not alone if you feel this way. Millions of Americans across the country also experience behavioral or process addictions.

Like substance abuse disorders, behavioral addiction causes a chemical change to the brain. Instead of consuming the chemical substance into the body, our brain is releasing dopamine from the external environment. You experience reward and pleasure whenever you engage the activity.

Commonalities between behavioral addiction and substance abuse disorder include: 

  • Heightened levels of tolerance that require more amounts of access to the substance or activity in order to gain the same amount of satisfaction 
  • Withdrawal Symptoms may occur
  • Withdrawal Symptoms for behavioral addictions are most likely not physical. For example, you may develop anxiety if you cannot participate in your addiction
  • Focused most of your energy on the addiction 
  • Frequently putting aside other responsibilities because of your addiction 
  • Inability to stop the behavior
  • Inability to focus on other activities or relationships

It is common that substance abuse disorders and behavioral patterns co-occur at the same time. If you are suffering from any of the above effects, evidence-based therapies and inpatient rehab or outpatient treatment may be right for you.

Common Behavioral Addictions for Rehab

Most behavioral addictions occur on a day-to-day basis. The following are some of the most common types of behavioral addictions: 

Shopping Addiction

A shopping addiction can be defined as the constant need to buy things. Most of the time, there is absolutely no need for the purchase. Shopping addiction is one of the most common types of behavioral addictions.

Even though there is no need for the items purchased, a person with a shopping addiction will be able to explain their reasoning. It is common that individuals who suffer from a shopping addiction usually spend more than their budget can hold. This tends to result in high credit bills and financial trouble. 

A shopping addict is not attached to the new item of purchase, rather, they are in love with the thrill of buying something new. This type of addiction can cause relationship problems and deep financial issues. Through a rehab program such as outpatient rehab treatment programs, you can address the co-occurring mental health conditions that underly a shopping addiction. Explore your treatment options with a counselor.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction refers to the constant need to engage in sex. Sex has the ability to become an addiction that is extremely hard to have control over. Individuals who have an addiction to sex may form virtual relationships and even pay for illegal sexual favors. Others may have relationship issues and cheat on their spouse. 

Sex addiction alters the brain’s chemistry, resulting in odd, reckless decision-making. Through rehab centers like The Recovery Team, you can access group therapy in Palm Beach for sex addiction and alleviating the suffering of the condition.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling is one of the most widely recognized behavioral addictions. Millions across the country struggle with an addiction to gambling. This addiction has the capability to begin soon after you place your first bet—or play your first game. While some are able to gamble for fun, others develop serious addictions to gambling. 

Gambling disorders cause individuals to feel strong emotions when they lose, such as anxiety, aggression, depression, or irritation. Gambling has the tendency to be highly addictive because once you win, you do not want to stop. Individuals with gambling addictions find themselves in severe financial trouble. This behavioral addiction commonly affects relationships and self-control. 

Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction is a newer form of behavioral addiction that has affected many throughout the country. As our society becomes more technological by the day, gaming addictions have increased. Those who suffer from a gaming disorder spend the majority of their day physically gaming or thinking about it all day. 

These people develop extensive online relationships but tend to have a hard time with in-person interactions. Although this type of process addiction may not seem harmful, it can be. This type of addiction can develop intense compulsive behaviors that make it hard to maintain work, school, relationships, mental and physical health. 

Food Addiction

Addiction to food is the constant need to eat. Food addiction often results in extreme overeating and weight problems. People with food addictions not only eat out of boredom but mostly because they know how food makes them feel.

Like gaming addiction, food addiction results in compulsive behaviors that have negative effects. Individuals tend to consume food that is way over the daily recommended caloric intake amount. This can cause weight gain and obesity.

Although some people with an addiction to food may be overweight, not all individuals are. People with this type of addiction are likely to develop self-esteem issues, eating disorders, or other serious health concerns.

Exercise Addiction

Addiction to exercise is a problem that many individuals suffer. Even though it may not seem unhealthy, exercise addiction can hurt both your mental and physical well-being. People with this addiction cannot stop working out, and always want to be at the gym.

Exercise addiction causes individuals to become obsessed with the way they look, resulting in severe self-esteem issues and body dysmorphia. You may tend to buy gym-related products and spend lots of money on anything related to exercise. 

Alongside food addiction, exercise addiction also has the ability to cause eating disorders. Because people become obsessed with the way they look, or want to look, they will develop an eating disorder as a result with serious, long-term health effects. 

Get Rehab Treatment for Behavioral Addiction

Treatment for behavioral addictions like these exists in South Florida on The Recovery Team’s campus of healing and therapy. It is recommended for those suffering from any type of process addiction to use therapy and find treatment for these behaviors. Behavioral addiction treatment commonly includes the following steps: 

  • Restraining yourself from the activity by replacing it with positive activities
  • Receiving a full evaluation from a licensed professional and diagnosis
  • Speaking with a licensed addiction professional to develop a treatment plan 
  • Attending individual, group, and family therapy for support and helpful tools 

The Recovery Team wants to see you flourish and live the life you deserve. If you or someone you love are struggling with a behavioral addiction, please call us today

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