Behavioral Addiction Versus Substance Addiction: Correspondence of Psychiatric and Psychological Views

Seyyed Salman Alavi, Masoud Ferdosi, Fereshte Jannatifard, Mehdi Eslami, Hamed Alaghemandan, Mehrdad Setare


Introduction: Behavioral science experts believe that all entities
capable of stimulating a person can be addictive; and whenever
a habit changes into an obligation, it can be considered as an
addiction. Researchers also believe that there are a number of
similarities as well as some differences between drug addiction and behavioral addiction diagnostic symptoms. The purpose of this study is to consider different approaches in this field.
Methods: This is a descriptive research using content analysis
method. First, differences and similarities of various perspectives
on addiction and addiction behavior in different substances were
obtained, thereafter, the data was coded and categorized, subjects were discussed and major issues were extracted.
Results: Behavioral addiction such as internet addiction is similar
to drug addiction except that in the former, the individual is not
addicted to a substance but the behavior or the feeling brought
about by the relevant action. In addition, the physical signs of drug addiction, are absent in behavioral addiction. Others have stated that behaviorally addicted individuals have certain symptoms and will undergo the same consequences brought about by addiction to alcohol and drugs as well as other obsessive behaviors.
Conclusion: Similar to substance abuse prevention, programs
aimed at addicted individuals and specialized training can educate adolescents about the warning signs of online addiction, in order to assist the early detection of this disorder. For prevention of behavioral addiction (such as internet addiction) authorities, cultural institutions and parents should monitor the use of internet and teach to the adolescent and children, the useful and appropriate methods of internet use.
Keywords: Addiction, addictive behavior, prevention

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