Substance abuse and process addictions are two different types of disorders, but they are both classified as addictions and both can devastate and destroy your life if they are left untreated. An addiction that involves substance abuse will revolve around drugs or alcohol, while a process addiction is an addiction to the emotions and feelings associated with a process rather than a substance. There are a number of addictions that are associated with processes rather than substances. Compulsive gambling, compulsive overeating and related eating disorders, sex addiction, and shopping addiction all involve a process instead of drugs or alcohol, but they are just as damaging and they require treatment in order to identify the cause of the addiction and resolve it successfully. Treatment may contain many of the same elements with both types of addiction, including individual and group counseling.
If you have a process addiction then it will interfere with a normal life, the same way that substance abuse does. Whether you face difficulties because you drink or you shop and spend too much you will have problems in many areas of your life as a result of these actions. In spite of the problems caused both types of addiction will continue until you receive treatment and the addiction is resolved. Process addictions can cause mental and physical changes that are similar to substance abuse, and they are typically caused by invisible wounds and past traumas which must be worked through and fully eliminated. If treatment is not received then both process addictions and substance abuse can destroy everything you care about.