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Addiction is a prevalent issue that affects individuals from all walks of life. Recognizing addictive behaviors, and knowing how to help someone with addiction are crucial steps in addressing this complex problem. We’ll help you understand different types of addiction as well as appropriate recovery treatment options.

At NewDay, we seek to reach individuals and families impacted by addiction. We believe that each life is significant and valued by God (Matthew 10:29-31). We aim to change the trajectory of their lives, placing them on the path to recovery.

Behavioral Addiction vs. Substance Addiction

Behavioral addiction and substance addiction are distinct but related concepts in the realm of addictive behaviors.

Substance addiction involves the compulsive use of substances like drugs or alcohol, leading to physical and psychological dependence. The addictive substance directly affects the brain’s chemistry, creating a physical need for continued use.

On the other hand, behavioral addiction, also known as process addiction, refers to compulsive engagement in specific activities or behaviors, such as gambling, gaming, or shopping, despite negative consequences.

Both types of addiction have similarities, like loss of control and negative effects on life. However, behavioral addiction doesn’t involve consuming external substances. Instead, it revolves around the repetition of certain behaviors that trigger the brain’s reward system. Both addictions can harm a person’s body and mind, so they need specific help and treatment methods.

Behavioral addictions, also known as process addictions, involve compulsive engagement in specific activities despite negative consequences. These behaviors can have a significant impact on a person’s life, similar to substance addictions.

Types of behavioral addiction

Gambling Addiction:

Individuals with a gambling addiction experience an uncontrollable urge to gamble, leading to adverse consequences such as financial loss, strained relationships, and legal issues.

Internet and Gaming Addiction:

Excessive use of the internet, video games, or online activities can become addictive. This may result in neglect of responsibilities, social isolation, and physical health problems.

Shopping Addiction (Compulsive Buying Disorder):

Compulsive buyers have an overwhelming desire to shop, often resulting in financial difficulties, emotional distress, and a buildup of unused or unnecessary possessions.

Food Addiction (Binge Eating Disorder):

People with binge eating disorder eat large amounts of food quickly, causing guilt, shame, and physical discomfort.

Exercise Addiction:

Exercise addiction is a harmful fixation on physical activity. It can lead to injuries, isolation, and an unbalanced life. This is despite the fact that exercise is generally beneficial for your health.


Work addiction is an obsessive focus on work to the detriment of personal life. This can result in burnout, strained relationships, and neglect of one’s physical and mental well-being.

Sexual Addiction:

People who have sexual addiction engage in ongoing and increasing sexual behavior. This behavior can cause issues in relationships, legal problems, and a decrease in overall happiness.

Social Media Addiction:

Using social media excessively can result in addiction. This is because individuals are constantly seeking validation, experiencing anxiety when they are offline, and neglecting their real-life relationships.

Compulsive Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) and Skin Picking (Excoriation Disorder):

These are examples of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) where individuals have an irresistible urge to pull hair or pick at their skin, resulting in physical and emotional distress.

Technology Addiction:

Beyond the internet and gaming, technology addiction encompasses a broader range of digital devices and platforms. Excessive reliance on smartphones, tablets, or other digital tools can impact mental health as well as relationships.

Not all these behaviors may universally apply to the term “addiction”. However, when these behaviors negatively impact someone’s life, seeking professional help and support is pivotal for managing and overcoming behavioral addictions.

Types of substance addiction

Alcohol Addiction:

People with alcohol use disorder cannot control or stop drinking despite negative consequences. It can lead to serious health issues, social problems, and impaired daily functioning.

Opioid Addiction:

Opioid addiction involves the misuse of prescription opioids or illegal opioids like heroin. The opioid crisis is a critical problem for public health, causing more overdose deaths and related issues.

Cocaine Addiction:

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that can lead to addiction with repeated use. It affects the central nervous system and can result in various physical and mental health problems.

Methamphetamine Addiction:

Methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant, can cause intense euphoria and increased energy. Prolonged use can lead to severe physical and mental health issues.

Marijuana Addiction:

While marijuana is often viewed as less addictive than some other substances, dependence and addiction can still occur, especially with heavy and prolonged use.

Benzodiazepine Addiction:

Benzodiazepines are prescription medications used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Misuse can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Nicotine Addiction:

Nicotine, found in tobacco products, is highly addictive. Smoking and tobacco use can lead to numerous health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular issues.

Hallucinogen Addiction:

Hallucinogens like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms can cause altered perceptions and sensations. While not as physically addictive, psychological dependence can occur.

It’s essential to approach substance addiction with empathy and a focus on evidence-based prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “46.3 million people aged 12 or older (or 16.5 percent of the population) met the applicable DSM-5 criteria for having a substance use disorder in the past year, including 29.5 million people who were classified as having an alcohol use disorder and 24 million people who were classified as having a drug use disorder.”

Addiction statistics are alarming, but we have hope and believe in redemption for those battling addiction. NewDay helps families and people with addiction in Indiana. We offer resources and treatment to help individuals and families overcome addiction.

If you’re concerned about a loved one, here are a few signs that they could be displaying addictive behavior.

Recognizing addictive behavior

Changes in Priorities:

One of the first signs of addictive behavior is a noticeable shift in priorities. Hobbies, relationships, and work become less important as the person becomes more focused on getting and using the substance.

Social Isolation:

Addicts often withdraw from friends and family, preferring solitude or associating only with those who share similar habits. This isolation is a defense mechanism to avoid judgment and maintain the addiction in secrecy.

Financial Strain:

Addiction is an expensive habit. If someone has an addiction, they may have financial problems from spending too much on their preferred substance. This can lead to borrowing money, selling possessions, or even resorting to illegal activities to fund their addiction.

Mood Swings:

Drastic mood swings are a common indicator of addiction. The individual may exhibit euphoria during substance use but experience irritability, anxiety, or depression when unable to access the substance.

Understanding addictive behavior as a healthcare worker or counselor

Observable Behavioral Changes

Healthcare workers and counselors need to be attuned to noticeable shifts in a person’s behavior. Changes in priorities, neglect of responsibilities, and withdrawal from social interactions can be indicative of addictive behavior.

Physical and Psychological Symptoms

Familiarize yourself with the physical and psychological symptoms associated with different types of addiction. This knowledge will aid in early detection and allow for a more targeted and effective intervention.

Risk-Taking Behavior

Addicts often engage in risky behaviors, disregarding the potential consequences of their actions. Recognizing these patterns can be instrumental in understanding the severity of the addiction and tailoring intervention strategies accordingly.

How to help a loved one struggling with addiction

Open Communication

Approach the individual with empathy and express your concern without judgment. Open communication can create a safe space for them to share their struggles and consider seeking help.

Educate Yourself

Understanding the nature of addiction is crucial. Educate yourself on the specific substance or behavior the person is addicted to, and learn about available treatment options.

Encourage Professional Help

Outpatient addiction treatment can be a viable option, offering flexibility for individuals to receive therapy and support while maintaining their daily responsibilities. Encourage the person to seek professional help and explore outpatient programs.

How to help a patient or individual dealing with addiction

Establishing Trust and Open Communication

Building a trusting relationship with the individual is essential. Encourage open communication without judgment, allowing them to share their struggles and concerns. This foundation of trust is critical in guiding them toward seeking help.

Assessment and Referral

As healthcare professionals and counselors, your role includes conducting a thorough assessment of the person’s addiction. Once identified, guide them toward appropriate treatment options, such as outpatient addiction treatment programs.

Collaborative Approach

Addiction is a complex issue that often requires a complex approach. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals, therapists, and support groups to provide comprehensive care tailored to the individual’s needs.

Addiction Treatment Programs

Is there any treatment for behavioral addiction or substance abuse? Yes, there are various programs provided by NewDay Center that address addiction and create a path to recovery. At NewDay Center, licensed professionals use a curriculum that combines biblical principles with proven methods to guide each program.

To decide which program is the best fit, here’s an overview of two primary options available.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs

A few benefits of IOP (Intensive Outpatient) programs include the following:

Flexibility and Ease of Access

Outpatient addiction treatment allows people to go to therapy and support groups while still doing their normal activities. This is especially beneficial for those who cannot commit to a residential program.

Comprehensive Therapy

Outpatient programs offer a range of therapeutic interventions, including individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy. These sessions address the root causes of addiction and provide coping strategies for long-term recovery. At NewDay, our outpatient programs provide evidence-based treatment and incorporate spiritual development for both men and women.

Community Integration and Support

Emphasize the importance of community support within outpatient addiction treatment. Join support groups and connect with others facing similar challenges, building a sense of belonging and empathy.

Engaging with a community of individuals facing similar challenges can be a powerful aspect of outpatient treatment. Sharing experiences and receiving support from peers can enhance the recovery process.

This is a good option if someone can carry on their daily life while seeking help from a treatment center. Learn more about NewDay’s Intensive Outpatient Treatment.

Residential Treatment Programs

Below are the benefits of residential (inpatient) addiction recovery programs:

Intensive and Structured Environment

One of the key benefits of inpatient addiction treatment programs is the intensive and structured environment they offer. With 24/7 care, individuals have a highly controlled setting where they can focus solely on their recovery. Having a routine helps create good habits, reduces distractions, and helps focus on dealing with addiction problems.

Constant Supervision and Medical Support

Inpatient programs provide constant supervision, ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals, especially during the initial stages of detoxification. Medical professionals are available to monitor and manage withdrawal symptoms, offering necessary medications and support. This level of care is essential in addressing the physical aspects of addiction and ensuring a safer detox process.

Therapeutic Intensity and Diversity

Inpatient addiction treatment programs typically offer a wide range of therapeutic interventions, including individual counseling, group therapy, and specialized modalities. Therapy is more intense, helping people understand why they are addicted and learn how to deal with it. This diverse approach allows us to tailor treatment plans to the specific needs of each individual.

Community and Peer Support

Inpatient programs foster a sense of community and peer support, creating an environment where individuals facing similar challenges can connect and share experiences. Peer support is invaluable in the recovery process, providing a sense of fellowship, understanding, and encouragement. This supportive network helps individuals build relationships that extend beyond the treatment period, contributing to ongoing recovery efforts.

NewDay has a residential program that lasts 30 to 45 days. Licensed counselors, medical professionals, and trained spiritual leaders constantly provide care and supervision for it. Through these combined approaches, we provide every participant with the understanding, support, and practical skills needed to recover.

Move towards recovery

Recognizing addictive behavior is the first step in helping someone overcome addiction. By fostering open communication, educating oneself, and encouraging professional help, we can support individuals on their journey to recovery.

Addiction treatment programs play a vital role in addressing the complex nature of addiction and promoting sustainable recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, take the initiative to seek help. Explore the available resources for a healthier and fulfilling life.