Addiction Disorders

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the health care professionals at Hattiesburg Clinic can help.

Addiction Disorders Overview

Addiction is a brain disorder that is manifested by compulsive actions despite harmful consequences. People with addiction have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, or engaging in certain behaviors to the point that it takes over their life. This can lead to significant impairment in various areas of life, including work, school, relationships and overall health.

Types of Addiction

Addiction is often classified into two main types:

  • Substance Addiction: This type of addiction involves the abuse of substances such as drugs (both legal and illegal) and alcohol. Substance addiction can lead to physical dependence, where the body adapts to the substance and requires increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect. It can also lead to psychological dependence, where the individual feels a strong craving or compulsion to use the substance despite negative consequences.
  • Behavioral Addiction: Behavioral addiction, also known as process addiction, does not involve the ingestion of a substance but rather revolves around compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, excessive internet use and shopping. Like substance addiction, behavioral addiction can lead to significant impairment in various aspects of life and can be challenging to overcome without professional help.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction has various signs and symptoms that can differ depending on the type of addiction but often include:

  • Loss of Control: Difficulty in controlling the frequency or amount of substance or behavior, often leading to excessive consumption or engagement despite efforts to cut back
  • Cravings: Intense urges or cravings to engage in the addictive behavior or consume the substance
  • Physical Dependence: Development of tolerance, where larger amounts of the substance or behavior are needed to achieve the desired effect
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Neglecting important responsibilities at work, school or home due to preoccupation with the addictive behavior or substance use
  • Continued Use Despite Consequences: Continuing the addictive behavior or substance use despite experiencing negative consequences, such as relationship problems, legal issues, financial difficulties or declining physical or mental health
  • Preoccupation: Spending a significant amount of time thinking about, obtaining or engaging in the addictive behavior or substance use
  • Loss of Interest: Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies that are not related to the addiction
  • Secrecy and Deception: Engaging in secretive behavior or lying to conceal the extent of the addiction from others
  • Mood Changes: Mood swings, irritability or anxiety when unable to engage in the addictive behavior or consume the substance
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cut back or stop the addictive behavior or substance use

Causes of Addiction

The cause of addiction can vary greatly from person to person but can include:

  • Biological Factors: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to addictive behaviors due to variations in their brain chemistry or the way their bodies respond to substances.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental influences including upbringing, family dynamics, peer pressure, trauma and exposure to addictive substances or behaviors can significantly impact the likelihood of developing an addiction.
  • Psychological Factors: Underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, trauma or stress, can contribute to addiction. Substance use or addictive behaviors may be used as a way to cope with or escape from these psychological challenges.
  • Social Factors: Social and cultural norms surrounding substance use and addictive behaviors can influence an individual’s likelihood of developing an addiction.
  • Developmental Factors: The age at which substance use or addictive behaviors begin can influence the development of addiction. Early exposure to addictive substances or behaviors during critical periods of brain development can increase the risk of addiction later in life.
  • Personality Traits: Certain personality traits, such as impulsivity, sensation-seeking, low self-esteem, or difficulty regulating emotions, can predispose individuals to addiction.
  • Neurological Factors: Prolonged substance use or engagement in addictive behaviors can lead to changes in the brain’s structure and function, affecting decision-making, impulse control and the brain’s reward system.

Addiction Services at Hattiesburg Clinic

Addiction is a complex issue that often requires professional guidance to overcome. The health care professionals at Hattiesburg Clinic have the training and experience to diagnose and treat addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, our compassionate team is here to help navigate the challenges of recovery.

Hattiesburg, MS
Psychiatry - Lincoln Center
Hattiesburg Clinic - Lincoln Center
1 Lincoln Pkwy.
Ste. 304
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
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Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Psychology & Counseling
Hattiesburg, MS
Psychology & Counseling
102 Medical Park
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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