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The nature of addiction does not discriminate with age, sex, race or social status. This means that anyone can develop an addiction at any time. Addictions start out as habits that become compulsory over time. We review the process of how a habit of drinking, smoking, viewing pornography or experiencing other substances can become a dangerous addiction.

Many people use “habit” and “addiction” synonymously, but the two terms are actually distinct from one another. A habit is a behavior that has become routine (smoking) and involves a trigger (stress or desire to smoke), as well as a reward (relaxation and the effect of nicotine). An addiction starts out as a habit but develops a dependency on the substance that now affects your day-to-day life.

Habits can become addictions as a result of the brain responding to dopamine levels. Pleasure of any kind is experienced through a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that tells the body it is experiencing something good. While there are many factors surrounding addiction, the basic process is frequent releases of dopamine that cause the body to develop a tolerance to the sensation, resulting in the need for higher amounts of dopamine, which requires greater exposure to the substance.

The more you drink, smoke, take drugs or view pornography, the more your body can become emotionally, mentally or sexually reliant on the substance, to the point that you become addicted. The risk of addiction increases if you are using the substance to replace negative feelings such as depression, anxiety or loneliness, as the brain becomes dependent on the substance and uses pleasure to mask underlying emotional pain.

If you have found that a habit of using alcohol, tobacco, drugs or pornography has grown outside your control, we encourage you to seek assistance for addiction recovery in Sandy, Utah. Please call Theta Wellness Center at 801-590-7461 today to schedule a consultation with our dedicated team to discuss your wellness options.