The Psychological Aspect of Addiction

psychological aspect of addiction
 

The psychological aspect of addiction is very different from its physical aspects.

The physical side of drug and alcohol abuse has been studied for centuries so there is an enormous amount of research surrounding the physical effects of substance abuse. The physical toll that addiction can have on a person is common knowledge; however, despite how debilitating substance abuse can be, people still engage in drug and alcohol abuse. Why? Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Chicago knows that addiction has just as much to do with the mind as it does with the body, and that’s why we’re looking into the psychology behind addiction.

What Is Psychological Dependence?

The term “psychology” refers to behavioral processes that relate to mood, emotions, or the mind. Psychological dependence has to do with the emotional and mental processes that relate to the development and recovery from a substance abuse disorder or addiction. Our moods and behaviors take root in the mind. When you begin to use drugs or alcohol, the way you think and feel changes. Once a person becomes accustomed to experiencing certain thoughts and moods while high, their minds become just as addicted as their bodies. The psychological aspect of addiction is just as serious as physical dependency. The two do not exist separate from each other but are rather intertwined to create an overall addiction.

Our cognitive behavioral therapy in Chicago focuses on the psychology behind addiction by helping patients realize the emotions and thought patterns associated with their substance abuse disorder. CBT is one of the several addiction therapies we offer at Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago.

Addiction Side Effects Associated With Psychological Addiction

Emotion plays a big role in substance abuse. People may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with negative emotions and they may associate certain positive emotions with these substances. Psychological dependence is largely referred to as the cognitive and emotional aspects of addiction or withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Rather than the body’s physical change as a result of drug abuse, the psychological model of addiction is centered on emotions related to using these substances. The most common psychological symptoms of addiction include:

  • Addiction cravings
  • Experiencing anxiety when they attempt to quit
  • Experiencing depression symptoms when they’re not using or trying to stop using
  • Feeling irritable when they’re not using or trying to quit
  • Mood swings associated with quitting or lack of drug use
  • Loss of appetite associated with not using or quitting
  • Denial about the addiction
  • Obsessing about using or obtaining the substance in question
  • Trouble with decision-making when not using or trying to quit
  • Difficulties concentrating when not using or trying to quit

Because the psychological symptoms of addiction can’t be measured, it’s difficult to pinpoint their intensity. While we can’t determine a person’s subjective level of mental distress, we do know that drug addiction and alcoholism can cause severe psychological dependency.

Common Substances Linked to Psychological Dependence

Certain substances produce more and clearer symptoms of psychological dependence. Some of the most common drugs associated with symptoms of psychological dependence include:

  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • LSD
  • Mescaline
  • PCP
  • DMT
  • Psilocybin
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Cannabis (Marijuana)
  • Inhalants
  • Antidepressants

Treating the psychological factors of drug addiction and alcoholism is just as important as treating the physical ones. If you or someone you know is battling addiction, call Banyan Chicago at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our rehab center and our unique programs and therapies for addiction.

 
Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.