Addiction can be found in many forms, and some of these do not involve substance abuse. There are shopping addictions, gambling addicts, even food junkies who fail to stop eating due to emotional attachments to certain unhealthy foods. All addictions cause destruction and devastation, but some are more dangerous and involve higher risks of dependence than others. All addiction starts because of the way that a substance or an activity makes the individual feel or the changes caused in brain chemicals and function. Substance abuse frequently causes addiction because drugs and alcohol change the brain chemistry. The user becomes dependent, and they start to lose the ability to function properly as the substance abuse escalates. Every addiction can destroy lives, but alcohol and drugs also destroy the health of the user as well.
Shopping and gambling addictions are compulsions, and overeating is the same type of problem. These addictions can destroy lives and families just like substance abuse. Family members and loved ones may want to help but feel powerless to stop the problem behavior. Shopping and gambling that are excessive ca lead to financial difficulties, lying to loved ones, and other issues that can be highly disruptive to normal life and daily activities. In every case of addiction the person involved in substance abuse or other compulsive behaviors understands on a deep level that there is a problem, but they may not know how to stop or where to turn to for help. If you or someone you know has a problem with substance abuse or other addictions there is help available.