What Are Addictive Behaviors?

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Addiction doesn’t always involve drugs or alcohol. It’s entirely possible to struggle with addiction, but not with substance abuse. Nonetheless, any addiction causes dangerous behaviors. Overall, many people wonder, “what are addictive behaviors?” and how they reduce quality of life and become increasingly severe. It’s important to understand just how devastating they can be.

What Are Addictive Behaviors?

Certain behaviors might not be harmful. However, if they’re beyond your control they have the potential to be. This means stopping the behavior feels impossible. You may find if you don’t engage in a certain activity, you feel anxious or unhappy. You might even feel physically unwell.

For example, these addictive behaviors might include gambling or shopping. If that lottery ticket you bought or items is your online shopping cart are keeping you awake, you may be displaying addictive behaviors.

Does A Specific Behavior Impact Your Health?

Additionally, many behaviors negatively impact health. For example, a food addiction is one of the most common addictive behaviors.

People with food addictions may gain weight and suffer from obesity-related complications. Their family members and doctors may intervene and suggest a weight loss plan. However, if eating is part of the addiction, then these suggestions won’t change problematic behaviors. True recovery involves specific addiction treatment that identifies the behavior and addresses underlying issues.

Is a Chronic Behavior Damaging Social, Romantic or Family Relationships?

Behaviors are addictive if they’re creating relationship problems. You might prioritize the behavior over spending time with loved ones.

For example, a gambling addiction could mean you’d rather spend time at the casino than with your children. It could even lead to spending less time with family because they constantly criticize your problematic behavior. If you have a video game addiction, your desire to keep playing could trump attending a family member’s wedding. These are all clear signs you need treatment.

How to Treat Addictive Behaviors

The first part of treatment is learning the answer to, “what are addictive behaviors?” Then, you’ll choose a specific treatment plan. With a behavioral addiction, the recovery approach is often similar to drug or alcohol addiction treatment.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, behavioral therapy identifies the underlying causes addiction. Thus, you can resolve those issues and find lasting hope and happiness. Fortunately, we supplement our behavioral therapies with the following:

Don’t let addictive behaviors control your life. Permanently end addiction at 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida. Call (866) 319-6126 to take the next step toward a healthier lifestyle today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.