How Does the Internet Affect Process Addictions?

How Does the Internet Affect Process Addictions?Addiction occurs when an individual loses control over a behavior or action and continues to engage in it despite experiencing negative consequences. While addictions to substances are most well known and recognizable, behavioral or process addictions also exist. “Introduction to Behavioral Addictions,” published in the August 2010 issue of the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, states that, “The essential feature of behavioral addictions is the failure to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others.” Behavioral or process addictions are addictions to actions such as gambling, stealing, shopping, gaming and using the Internet. They develop in response to endorphin production and create powerful psychological dependencies that require professional treatment.

How the Internet Changes Access to Addictive Behaviors

Behavioral or process addictions share many traits with substance addictions and have similarly been changed by access to the Internet. Computers have changed how people access drugs and addictive behaviors. Drugs once only available through pharmacies or street dealers can now be purchased over the Internet. Gambling once required a trip to a casino or bookie but can now be similarly engaged in through computers. This makes addictive substances and behaviors more accessible to individuals, and those who may not have repeated a behavior that required traveling to dangerous areas of town or lying to pharmacists may find that the Internet makes regularly engaging in addictive behaviors simpler and seemingly safer.

How the Internet Helps Users Find Drug and Addiction Treatment

Although the Internet increases access to potentially addictive actions, it also increases awareness of process addiction and access to treatment options. Individuals can find supportive online communities and information about where to find drug treatment programs online. Isolation is a common symptom of addiction, and the Internet can help break through feelings of loneliness to provide hope for an addiction-free future. By finding websites such as this one, individuals can learn more about addiction and its causes and solutions. We offer a toll-free helpline that addicted individuals or their loved ones can call to gain access to the best treatment programs for process addictions, substance abuse issues or co-occurring addiction and mental health concerns. We are here 24 hours a day, just like the Internet, so there is no wrong time to call. Please pick up the phone, and begin your journey to an addiction-free life today.