Addictions are a more extreme version of substance use disorders, which is where someone uses a substance uncontrollably despite its consequences. This is typically done to relieve stress, improve performance, or experience pleasure. Addictions are dangerous and challenging to get rid of due to the downward spiral they can cause. Eventually, people build up a tolerance to whatever substance they are abusing over time. This means that they will require more of that substance to maintain its perceived benefits or achieve a sufficient “high.” However, it should be noted that addictions can also come in the form of behavioral abuse, like gambling.
Cravings for an addictive substance or activity can cause alterations in the ways that people behave and think. This can impact one’s mind, how it makes decisions, retains memories, and more. It also has the ability to affect your body by causing abnormal movements. The most commonly known addictions involve alcohol and various drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and opioids (pain relievers).