life a Addiction lifestyle about not long illness choice

Addiction is really a major health problem that costs as much as all other mental illnesses combined (about £40 billion per year) and about around cancer and cardiovascular disorders also.

At its core addiction is a state of altered brain function that leads to fundamental changes in behavior which can be manifest by repeated utilization of alcohol and other drugs or engaging in activities such as gambling.  These are usually resisted, albeit unsuccessfully, by the addict.  The important thing options that come with addiction is therefore a state of habitual behaviour such as drug taking or gambling that's initially enjoyable but which eventually becomes self-sustaining or habitual. The urge to engage in the behaviour becomes so powerful so it interferes with normal life often to the stage of overtaking work, personal relationships and family activities. Now anyone may be said to be addicted: the addict's every thought and action is directed to their addiction and the rest suffers.

If the addictive behaviour is not possible e.g. because they do not have enough money then feelings of intense distress emerge. These could result in dangerously impulsive and sometimes aggressive actions.  In case of drug/alcohol addiction the problem is compounded by the occurrence of withdrawal reactions which cause further distress and motivate desperate attempts to find more of the addictive agent. This urge to get the drug may be so overpowering that addicts will commit seemingly random crimes to have the resources to purchase more drug. It has been estimated that about 70% of most acquisitive crime is related to drug and alcohol use.

Addiction is driven by a sophisticated group of internal and external factors.  The external factors are well understood:  the more usage of the required drug or behaviour e.g. gambling the more addiction there is.

The inner factors are less clear. Although most addiction is to alcohol and other drugs, addiction to gambling and other behaviours such as sex or shopping can occur. These inform us that the mind can develop hard-to-control urges independent of changing its chemistry with drugs.  All addictions share a standard thread in that they are initially pleasurable activities, often extremely enjoyable. This results in these behaviours hijacking the brain's normal pleasure systems to ensure that naturally enjoyable activities such as for example family life, work, exercise become devalued and the more excessive addiction behaviours take over.

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