Similarities Between Behavioral and Substance Addiction  

When you go to an addiction treatment facility, you may notice that there are people there who suffer from behavioral addiction and people who suffer with substance addiction. They may not be in the same groups, but the treatment is very similar. That is because there are many similarities between substance addiction and behavioral addiction.

What is Behavioral Addiction?

Behavioral addiction is an addiction that is not chemically-based. People can become behaviorally addicted to a substance without the chemical dependence and thus wind up looking like they have a substance addiction. However, they can also become addicted to things that have no chemical dependency risks, such as sex, food and exercise.

What is Substance Addiction?

Substance Addiction is a chemical addiction to substances like drugs, painkillers, alcohol and tranquilizers. It can be combined with behavioral addiction or stand alone. However, most chemical dependency sufferers have developed habits of the behaviors that go along with the chemical addiction as well.


The most important similarity between chemical and behavioral addiction is the need that sufferers feel. Whether you are addicted to food or Heroin, you crave the object of your addiction. You think about it when your mind should be focused elsewhere. It may be the main focus of your entire life. This changes with treatment and is the reason for most of the problems that arise for both behavioral addiction and substance addiction.


It does not matter what you are addicted to or how you became addicted to it. You will use the same tactics as others to get what you want. You may have found yourself stealing or cheating to get the object of your cravings. You may have abandoned family members or friends so that you can continue upholding your addiction without interference from loved ones. Addiction makes choosing between what is important and what you feel you need very difficult no matter what the addiction is.


Whether you are addicted to exercise or a street drug, you will likely lie to be able to get what you want. This is especially true if you do not want loved ones to know what you are doing. You will say you are going to the library when you are going to the gym. You will say you are going camping when you are going on a weekend binge. This aspect of addiction is virtually always present. It is easier to sneak around than it is to give up any kind of addiction.


It is important that you not be afraid to seek help even if your addiction seems behavioral or insurmountable. The treatment for all addiction, while customized for the individual, is much the same. You will get therapy to help you deal with issues that arise and that may have led to your addiction. You get medical help for health issues caused by the addiction. If your plan calls for it, you could meet other people suffering through the same problems so that you can get a reality check on yours.

Get help for your addiction today. You can overcome any behavioral addiction or substance addiction with the right support and the right treatment.

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