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An addiction is a chronic disorder in which an individual is blinded by substance, or engages in an activity, that gives them an immense amount of pleasure but has become detrimental to their everyday life. Compulsive behaviors and addictions can temporarily provide confidence, control, validation, or other emotions lacking in one’s life, the behavior may not stop until the root of the problem is addressed.

Addiction changes the brain through the limbic system, known as the “brain reward system.” This part of the brain is responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and will manifest thoughts such as, “I deserve this,” or “Let’s do that again.” The abuse of addictive substances and behaviors triggers this system which can prolong a continuous cycle of destructive behavior.

Common addictions include but are not limited to:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Gambling
  • Internet
  • Shopping
  • Food

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