Addictive behaviors are not limited to those who succumb to drug addiction or alcoholism. While people who find themselves addicted to a substance may have a chemical reaction to that substance, they are also engaging in a compulsive behavior that they have difficulty controlling. And there is help available for people who engage in compulsive behaviors, whether or not they are involved in substance abuse.
A Washington Post columnist recently wrote about how the possible opening of a new casino in the area may lead to an increase in compulsive gambling…”Based on statistics that show the percentage of adults addicted to gambling and the clinical evidence that shows those numbers are two to three times as high in places within 50 miles of a casino…”
“The group that is revising the nation’s bible of psychiatric diagnoses is proposing a revision; it says gambling addiction should be a disorder related to substance abuse. Like addiction to drugs or booze.”
This re-classification would make things simpler for those who want treatment for gambling addiction, but more research is needed before it can be re-classified.
At Transitions, we work not only with people who have engaged in substance abuse but also with people who engage in compulsive behaviors and have difficulty with anxiety and eating disorders. We offer reality-based treatment and continuing care planning that incorporates 12-step recovery principles.