Each year, millions of Americans seek medical attention and assistance for substance abuse addictions. But less heard of, are the behavioral addictions that are affecting just as many people.
The word ˜addiction' often brings to mind either alcohol or drug dependency. Each year, millions of Americans seek medical attention and assistance for substance abuse addictions. But less heard of, are the behavioral addictions that are affecting just as many people.
For years, behavioral addictions were not taken seriously, or considered a threat by healthcare professionals. However, it is becoming evident in the last decade that behavioral addictions are very real and are much harder to measure than substance addictions. The commonly accepted distinction between œhabit and œdependency is that an addiction means continually using mind-altering substances (or displaying behaviors) with negative life consequences, while a habit doesn't have negative consequences after halting the behavior. If a person is unable to quit a behavior despite the harm it causes to themselves or others, he or she likely has an addiction.
In today's day and age, there is new availability of addictive behaviors, which is mainly attributed to our advancing technology. With the use of the internet, behavioral addictions such as gambling, shopping, sex and even simple internet surfing addictions have become more prominent and are getting out of control. The problem grows as celebrities and the media become more open about needing rehabilitation. Many believe that words such as ˜obsessed' and ˜addicted' are being used very lightly to describe hobbies or favorite items or actions. All of this has contributed to a growing addiction problem that flies below the radar.
As more research is completed, there is more evidence showing that people who are addicted to over eating, gambling and sex have similar responses in the brain as people who are addicted to substances. The evidence is nearly non-disputed now in the health industry and behavioral addiction is becoming a more widely recognized problem.
SMU has recognized that providing assistance to students who suffer from a behavioral addiction is an important factor in the wellness of the community. On campus, the Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention is housed to typically address the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. However, operations have been expanded now to include behavioral addictions. Recently, the center launched a program that will allow students to confidentially speak with trained professionals about health and social problems that they may be experiencing.
Patrick Hite, the director of the center, believes that the new health center will have a large impact on SMU's reputation as a quality institution to help countless students struggling with behavioral addictions. Last year, the center received a $5 million gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation, in order to facilitate renovations and to kick-start a new branch of assistance for students.
The model shown by SMU is likely to be the beginning of a new era of addiction specialization and assistance. It's suspected that as more assistance is available to the public nationwide, the rates of behavioral addiction will not rise, but be better known.
Unintentional drug overdoses is a serious matter that has led to many family tragedies and loss of loved ones. The notion of losing someone, whether it's a friend, a parent, a sibling, or a son or daughter, is a devastating one. A Center For Addiction Recovery has been dedicated for ever ten years in providing addiction treatment services and programs for thousands of families nation-wide, and has saved numerous lives as a result. Our mission is not only to treat individuals who suffer from various drug addictions, but also those who suffer from mental disorders such as ADD or ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Post traumatic Stress Disorder.
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