Compulsions and Addictions Discussion Assignment

Discussion: Compulsions and Addictions

Have you ever heard someone refer to himself or herself as a “social drinker” or “social smoker”? Many people enjoy caffeine or alcohol, spend a little too much on a shopping trip, and even gamble in moderation. For the most part, individuals are capable of engaging in these and other activities in a controllable way. Almost any behavior has the potential to transform into a compulsion or addiction, however.

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Determining when a behavior is a compulsive or an addiction can be a challenging process. Although there are guidelines such as diagnostic criteria and statistics for both, there are few scientific rules regarding what constitutes a compulsion versus an addiction. Is one worse than the other? Is one more common than the other? Experts in the field of addictions typically determine what is considered healthy and normal and what is considered problematic. Addictions professionals recognize the signs of both compulsion and addiction in individuals and the difference between these two conditions.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Go Ask Alice! (2009). What’s the difference between an addiction and a compulsion? Retrieved from http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/whats-difference-between-addiction-and-compulsion

Go Ask Alice! (2009). What’s the difference between an addiction and a compulsion? Retrieved from http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/whats-difference-between-addiction-and-compulsion

Review the articles “What’s the Difference Between an Addiction and a Compulsion?,” “Internet Addiction: Definition, Assessment, Epidemiology and Clinical Management,” and “Pathological Gambling and Substance Use Disorders.”
Review the list of behaviors provided below. When posting, try to choose a behavior that has not been discussed by one of your colleagues at the time that you post, or if all have been selected, be sure to include a new insight that has not been covered.
Marijuana use
Gambling
Spending
Hoarding
Nail biting
Technology/e-mail checking/Internet
Hair picking

Post a brief explanation of the difference between compulsion and addiction using one of the behaviors above. Then, explain why it is important to know the difference. Be specific and use the week’s Learning Resources in your response.

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