Behavioral and Process Addictions Are a Real Danger

Drug and alcohol addictions are often considered to be the most prominent addictions in society, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Drug and alcohol addictions may be more easily observed (due to obvious, related issues like homelessness, withdrawal, and erratic behavior) but process addictions may be just as common.

Process addictions, also known as behavioral addictions, include addictions to various behaviors such as gambling, having sex, driving dangerously, etc. Process addictions affect the brain in a very similar way as drug addictions.

In this article, we’ll talk about some common behavioral addictions and how they can affect you. If you think that you’re struggling with a process addiction don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the rehab centers in San Diego.

Examples of Behavioral Addictions

These are some common examples of behavioral addictions.

Sex Addiction

Sex addictions are among the most dangerous and destructive of process addictions, namely because they routinely involve people other than the one with the addiction. Those struggling with sex addictions feel the need to engage in sexual behaviors on a consistent basis. When they do not get to engage in sexual behavior they often go to drastic measures to do so.

This could mean anything from soliciting sex from a prostitute to engaging in unprotected sex to using drugs or alcohol to encourage others to sleep with them. Many people with sex addictions also engage in compulsive masturbation which can lead to pornography addiction.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling addictions are another problem that can cause distress in an individual’s life. People with a gambling addiction will often spend far more than they can afford in casinos, on scratch tickets, betting on games, or gambling in other ways.

They are addicted to the dopamine rush that comes along with the thrill of winning. This dopamine addiction can damage the mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain and lead to mental health problems.


Internet Addiction

Another addiction that is very widespread today is internet addiction. With the advent of social media, online gaming, and other forms of online entertainment, many people find themselves addicted to the internet.

Gambling and pornography can also be found on the internet which can add further challenges for someone struggling with internet addiction.

Social media sites like Facebook are built off of dopamine-based feedback loops. These can be incredibly addictive. It is not uncommon for people to find themselves scrolling endlessly through their social media news feeds in hopes of finding a post, picture, or article that makes them feel good. Many people also constantly post photos and update their status in hopes of receiving ‘likes’ or positive feedback to boost their dopamine.



There are many types of behavioral addictions. All of them affect the brain in a similar way by affecting our response to dopamine. When left untreated these addictions can cause long-term changes in the brain.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a behavioral addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the rehab centers in San Diego.

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