Why do People Become Addicted? – By Lee Weber

If you are reading this, you probably have a friend or family member who is addicted to something, gambling, drugs, alcohol, even sex or the internet. Maybe you are probably wondering how did they ever wind up in such a bad place in their lives. Therefore, if you are asking the question why do people become addicted? You are really wondering what causes addiction. If you want to better understand addiction so that you can react better to the person you are worried about, we hope to help explain addiction basics for you here. At the end we will answer all your questions about this topic. We will be discussing the following: What Is Addiction? Statistics, Is Addiction Common? How Do People Become Addicted? Addiction´s Effects In The Brain Why Do People Become Addicted? Signs Of A Problem: Am I Addicted? Why Cannot Addicts Say NO? Any Help For And… Continue reading

Rigorous Honesty: The Key to Healing an Addiction-Damaged Relationship By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

As addicts, we damage our relationships. And sadly, the more important a relationship is to us, the more damage we tend to do. Once we enter recovery, beyond the work of staying sober and pulling our lives back together in a general way, a primary goal for many of us is healing our damaged connections—especially with our spouses and partners. Most of the time, the most significant and painful damage, in the minds of our loved ones, involves the loss of relationship trust. As addicts, we lie, we keep secrets, we manipulate, we gaslight, and we just plain violate every aspect of relationship trust. These behaviors are part of the denial of our addiction. We lie to and keep secrets from ourselves and everyone else as a way of protecting (and continuing) our addictive behavior. Much of the time, we’re not even aware that we’re doing this. Our lack of… Continue reading

Finally, an Official Diagnosis for Sexual Compulsivity! – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  For a long time, sexually addicted/compulsive people did not have an official diagnosis delineating the criteria for diagnosing and treating their disorder. Nor could they get insurance companies to directly fund much-needed treatment for this debilitating issue. This did not by any stretch of the imagination mean that sexual addiction/compulsivity did not exist, because it did. (For a comparison, think about alcoholism, which was officially recognized by most medical and psychological organizations as a diagnosable and treatable disorder in the 1970s. But that hardly means the issue did not exist prior to that time.) The good news is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the latest version of its diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), will include “Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder” as an official diagnosis. For those who are not familiar with this manual, I’ll simply state that it’s the most commonly used medical… Continue reading

What Triggers Sexually Addictive Behaviors? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Sexually addictive behaviors are typically triggered by one of two things: a strong desire to escape an uncomfortable feeling, or a strong reminder of the pleasure experienced through sexual fantasy and activity. Either type of trigger will induce, in sex addicts, the craving to act out sexually. It is important to note that addiction cravings are not the same as a non-addicted person craving a bag of potato chips or a scoop of ice cream after a hard day at work. Addiction cravings are more like the need for air after holding your breath for a minute or more. Once addiction cravings are triggered, they are beyond conscious control. They escape reason and logic. They are so powerful that they overwhelm and take control of the addict’s thought process. This is why sex addicts (and other addicts) find it so difficult to establish and maintain sobriety, despite the promises… Continue reading

Does Sex Addiction Get Worse Over Time? (Yes, It Does!) -Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Addicts of all types almost universally experience an increasing tolerance to the mood-altering effects of their substance/behavior of choice. As a result, they must, over time, use more of that addictive substance/behavior or a more intense substance/behavior to achieve and maintain the escapist high they seek. If you’re struggling to understand this, consider drug addiction. Almost nobody shoots heroin right out of the gate. Instead, drug addicts ease into things by smoking marijuana or abusing a prescription medication. As time passes, their tolerance increases, and in response their habits escalate. Maybe they start smoking pot around the clock, or maybe they start popping pills by the handful, or whatever. Eventually, as their brain continues to adapt, even that level of usage doesn’t get or keep them high the way they’d like. At some point, they “discover” drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin, and they use these stronger substances in… Continue reading