Addiction refers to the increased engagement in substance or behavior despite the negative effects that such has on someone. Addiction entailed intense craving for something, loss of control over its use, and continued indulgence irrespective of the related adverse consequences.
Addiction alters the normal functioning of the brain in the way it registers pleasure and corrupts other normal drives such as motivation and learning. Thus, addiction is a mental illness that does not manifest spontaneously rather occurs gradually and advances in frequency and intensity (Lloyd, 2004).
In fact, the subject hardly realizes when he/she is being addicted until the symptoms fully manifest themselves. Common types of addiction include addiction to drugs and substances and addiction to pornography. When addiction advances, the subject finds it hard to keep away from the behavior or substance. In fact, addicts function well under the influence of drugs or substances. Though breaking an addiction once it has developed is hard, it can always be done. Therefore, this paper will address the numerous causes and means of combating addiction.
Causes of Addiction
Social factors are incredibly influential and core components of addiction. As children grow, they learn from their peers and grownups the acceptable behaviors in the society. If a child grows up in a society that practices addictive behaviors such as drug abuse and pornography, he/she is liable to becoming addicts of the same. The family plays a vital role in the development of addictive behaviors, as it is the first and closest community that a child encounters thus tries to emulate common behaviors. It is characteristic childhood behavior to a desire to emulate significant adults in the surrounding. In copying such behavior, the children often seek for adult approval. In families where addictions are openly practiced, children in such a family are more disposed to addictions (Lloyd, 2004).
Social learning theory can be used to explain how social factors lead to addiction. Such is a four-stage process that involves attention, memory, imitation, and motivation. First, the potential addict is attracted to people in his/her social circle that are subject to addiction. In the second stage, the person remembers what he observed from the addicts. This is followed by a desire to imitate or practice such behavior, and then the person develops motivation to engage in such behavior.
It is a common belief that drugs, substances, and certain compulsive behaviors help people cope with problems in life. Following such illusion, people result into being addicts without their conscience. Psychological factors are common sources of drug and pornographic addiction. For instance, a person may choose to indulge in drugs and pornographic movies to deal with the physical and emotional pain of a broken relationship. The drugs offer illusions that life is normal, even after the break up while the pornographic movies act as a solace for the lost emotional support. The more the person indulges in such activity, the more he/she will feel satisfied, and this will result into addiction (Simmons, 2010).
Addiction disorder may be hereditary thus passed from one generation to another. Biological attributes exist in the brain is responsible for biological causes of addiction. These include the dopamine pleasure circuit and the prefrontal cortex. In a non-addicted person, the dopamine pleasure circuit is in equilibrium with the prefrontal cortex. However, with the feeling of engaging in drugs or any compulsive behavior, the dopamine pleasure circuit operates in favor of pursuing the activity. Simultaneously, the prefrontal cortex balances such urge by making the subject think of the consequences of such activity. Eventually, the dopamine pleasure circuit overwhelms the prefrontal cortex, thus the individual experiences a decreased capacity to counter the desire for such substance or behavior.