Addiction and compulsion are terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings regarding substance abuse. Compulsion and addiction involve loss of control over specific behaviors. Treatment approaches for these two problems can overlap, but they differ.

What Is a Substance Abuse Addiction?

Addiction involves a physical dependence on a substance, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms when the substance is no longer available. This addiction can also include psychological dependence on a particular substance, which causes individuals to experience intense cravings to use the substance continuously. A substance abuse addiction can develop with various substances, including alcohol, opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and cannabis.

This issue can affect the brain’s reward system, contributing to alterations in neurotransmitter activity and neural pathways that facilitate drug-seeking behavior. People struggling with addiction can find it difficult to quit due to these changes in brain functionality.

Here are some signs of substance addiction:

  • Loss of control
  • Social and interpersonal problems
  • Engaging in risky behaviors like drunk driving
  • Failed attempts to quit
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Deteriorating physical health
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and depression

Treatments for Substance Addiction

Addiction can originate from past traumas that experts can determine through dual diagnosis. You can undergo various treatments for addiction, such as one-on-one or small-group talk therapies, to help you cope with addiction disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression. Experiential therapies that involve music, expressive art, and pets can help with addiction, anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression, and trauma.

Medical interventions like brain stimulation therapy help treat mental health conditions that haven’t responded to other forms of therapy. Hypnotherapy is a tool for anxiety and addiction. A licensed hypnotist performs this treatment by using suggestions when someone is in a subconscious state to facilitate a positive change.

Other forms of treatment can be lifestyle changes like hygiene, nutrition, and physical exercises to reduce anxiety and depression. Patients can take medications and attend therapy sessions to help reduce cravings and minimize emotional triggers. In other cases, acupuncture can be beneficial for treating pain and relieving stress related to substance dependence.

What Is a Substance Abuse Compulsion?

Substance compulsion is a strong desire to use substances even when physical dependence hasn’t occurred. When someone experiences substance compulsion, they feel the urge to use substances in response to obsessive thoughts, cravings, or a sense of anxiety or distress. External factors can trigger a compulsion, such as being in the presence of cocaine, alcohol, opioids, and other addictive substances.

Compulsion can be a sign of addiction, or it can occur independently. Compulsion can be a symptom of underlying problems, such as trauma, depression, and anxiety. This issue can come with a constant preoccupation with obtaining and using the substance, which can affect daily activities, relationships, and responsibilities.

Treatments for Substance Abuse Compulsion

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help identify triggers, thoughts, and behaviors associated with substance compulsion. CBT can help develop strategies to manage cravings, cope with stress, and modify unhealthy thinking patterns. If you are struggling with compulsion, a counselor can use motivational enhancement therapy to enhance your commitment toward changing substance abuse behavior.

Group therapy or support groups can also be beneficial since they provide a supportive environment for shared experiences and learning from others with compulsion. A therapist can also utilize holistic approaches like yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to relieve stress and provide coping strategies.

Get Help With an Addiction Today

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, find help through a reliable rehab program. Rehabilitation centers can offer dual diagnosis, medical detox, individual or group therapy, medication-assisted therapy, and holistic therapy to help you recover. Some rehab facilities offer education to help you know the root of your addiction. Seek assistance to help you manage substance dependence and compulsion.