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Behavioral Addictions Versus Substance Addictions

Many often wonder what can be addictive. What are behavioral addictions versus substance addictions, and which is worse? Both addictions can be detrimental to someone’s life and knowing what could define these could be helpful to identifying when a behavior or a substance is a problem and there may be a need for professional help and guidance to overcome it. Addictions of any kind aren’t always as simple as just deciding to stop, and being able to. Sometimes it requires a little bit of extra support and help.

What Are Behavioral Addictions?

While most who think of addiction generally think of drugs and alcohol, behaviors can also have addictive qualities. Thinking of behavioral addictions versus substance addictions someone may wonder how behavioral addictions can be harmful, and why they would need help to end the addiction.

Well, individuals who are struggling must first understand what behavioral addictions are, and then they would be able to see how these behaviors tend to be detrimental to their lives. Behavioral addictions versus substance addictions are about the thing that stimulates the person and causes them to compulsively use the behavior for gratification of some sort. These can include things like overeating, gambling, sex, or watching television.

There are 2 types of behavioral addictions, passive and active. Television would be considered a passive behavioral addiction, while gambling, shopping, and sex would be considered active. The difference between behavioral and substance addictions is that it is not a drug or drink that the person is using to achieve a sense of euphoria. The behaviors themselves are what create this euphoric, addictive feeling within an individual. 

Connections Between Behavioral Addictions and Substance Abuse

While behavioral versus substance addictions are about what is used, and there is not a physical substance the person is addicted to in behavioral addictions, there are similarities between the 2. Substance addictions such as drug or alcohol addiction lead to many of the same problems that can arise as a result of behaviors such as gambling, sex, or food addictions.

Gambling can lead to loss of financial stability just as drug and alcohol addiction can, sex addiction can lead to broken family structures like substance addiction often does. The understanding that the compulsive behaviors associated with addiction are the problem can be a catalyst to someone fully understanding that addiction, whether to substances or behaviors, can be unhealthy and detrimental to their life.

The Best Forms of Treatment

The good news is, when someone is struggling with these addictions, healing is possible. Behavioral addictions versus substance addictions, there are many treatment options for both. There are ways for someone struggling to begin healing and living a better life.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, can help anyone struggling with an addiction. Behavioral addiction versus substance addiction treatments isn’t very different when it comes to CBT. In both forms of addiction, CBT can be used in order to show someone just how their thinking affects their behaviors.

Then they can work to learn new ways of coping with the thoughts that lead to unhealthy behaviors so that those thoughts can be changed. CBT is beneficial in many ways, and especially for addictions to both behaviors and substances.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, can help with addictions as well. Like CBT, DBT works on thought processes. However, the difference between the 2 is that in DBT a person works to accept their circumstances and understand how their circumstances play into behaviors. It helps with regulating emotions and becoming mindful of their behaviors. Treatments for behavioral addictions versus substance addictions may include DBT.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a beneficial treatment option for those who are struggling with addiction. Someone may wonder, behavioral addictions versus substance addiction, which is better treated with group therapy? Well, the short answer is both.

When an individual struggles, and chooses to seek professional help and guidance, being with others who have similar struggles can be beneficial. Whether substances or behaviors, hearing how another individual managed some symptoms of their addiction can be beneficial to another individual going through the same thing.

How We Can Help

Empowered Recovery Center can help those who struggle with addictions to both behaviors and substances. We provide dual diagnosis help for those who struggle with multiple conditions, and we strive to provide a safe space for healing. CBT, DBT, and group therapy are some of the methods we use, among others, to help those struggling. Anyone that struggles with addiction can recover, and it begins with reaching out for help.

Ending Behavioral and Substance Addictions

Behavioral and substance addictions can lead to some pretty severe impacts on an individual’s life. They can lead to broken relationships, broken trust, and lost jobs. There is help and hope for these addictions.

If you or a loved one are struggling, Empowered Recovery Center can help. We offer help for those struggling with addiction, whether behavioral or substance-related. There are professionals on staff able to help guide as you begin the process of healing and ending these addictions.

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  • Empowered Recovery Center
    3651 Canton Road,
    Marietta, GA 30066

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