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How Are Drug and Process Addictions Connected?

How Are Drug and Process Addictions Connected?Process addictions are compulsive behaviors that people can’t stop engaging in even when the behaviors cause painful effects. In the past these problems would simply have been seen as bad habits, but they are now understood to function in the brain in the same way as drug or alcohol addiction does. In fact, there are several ways that process addictions and chemical dependency are connected, so San Diego residents should seek professional help to recover.

What Are Process Addictions?

The term “process addiction” describes a number of behaviors that people can become addicted to, including the following examples:

  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-injury (cutting)
  • Thrill seeking
  • Hoarding
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Affected San Diego residents experience an emotional “high” when they engage in these behaviors. Even when these habits cost people relationships, jobs, money and legal problems, they simply can’t stop engaging in these destructive acts. Thus, process addictions cause pain not only for the addict, but also the friends, family and loved ones of the addict.

Process Addictions and Chemical Dependency

The brain manages psychological functions through a fragile system of chemical signals. However, addictions form because substances and addictive behaviors cause spikes of endorphins, dopamine and other natural “feel good” chemicals in the brain, to which the brain becomes hooked. Some addicts have a genetic propensity toward addiction and these spikes, while others develop a disorder due to trauma, neglect, substance abuse or other negative experiences. San Diego residents with process addictions suffer from at least one of the following co-occurring emotional disorders that they unconsciously self-medicate with drugs:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Self-esteem deficiency

These individuals medicate their underlying disorders through the high that addictive behaviors provide. San Diego residents with process addictions medicate their emotional pain and stress through drug or alcohol abuse.

Help for San Diego Process Addicts

If you or a San Diego loved one suffers from a process addiction, with or without a corresponding drug addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline right away. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions confidentially, and they can connect you with effective treatment programs. Don’t let a process addiction feed a drug or alcohol problem, because comprehensive and caring help is available right now. We can help you find the emotional and physical health you need.