Teen process addictions can be tough to break free from, leaving many to wonder whether they are more addictive than substance use disorders. If your teenage boy is struggling with a process addiction, call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 to learn more about our adolescent-focused process addiction treatment center.
What Is a Teen Process Addiction?
Teen process addictions, also commonly referred to as behavioral addictions, are compulsive and addictive behaviors that share many of the same patterns as substance use disorders. Several different behaviors can become addictive, leading to patterns such as:
- Video game addictions
- Internet addictions
- Shopping addictions
- Shoplifting addictions
- Pornography addictions
- Exercise addictions
- Food addictions
These behaviors all share several similar characteristics. Teens can feel intense cravings to engage in the behavior, lose interest in hobbies or activities outside of their addictions, and continue the behavior despite mounting personal, social, or academic consequences.
Process Addictions vs. Substance Use Disorders
There are striking parallels between process addictions and addictions to substances like drugs or alcohol. In both cases, people can experience the following:
- An intense desire to engage in the behavior or use the drug
- A need for more of the behavior or drug to feel the desired effect
- Withdrawal symptoms if the behavior suddenly stops
- A compulsion to engage in the behavior more often than intended
- Not being able to stop or cut down without professional intervention
The cravings, tolerance, and other similarities to substance use disorders are why compulsive behavioral patterns are described as addictions.
Academic research has proven that these parallels exist in the very same regions of the brain. Addictive behaviors target the brain’s reward system just as addictive drugs do. As such, recovering from process addictions takes an approach that is similar to substance use disorder recovery.
Are Process Addictions More Addictive?
Comparing the “addictiveness” of two disorders is difficult to quantify. Still, there are a few elements of process addictions that can make them even more challenging to overcome than substance use disorders.
The first factor to recognize is that process addictions often cannot be entirely given up. For instance, a person struggling with internet addiction may still need to use online resources in school or for future work. Total abstinence is not necessarily an option.
The same is true for food addictions, shopping addictions, and exercise addictions. These behaviors are vital skills, and everyone needs to engage in them to some degree.
A person with an alcohol addiction can choose never to drink alcohol again. But a person with a process addiction may need to change their relationship with a certain behavior so that they can moderate their engagement with it. Such a change must be monitored and maintained for a lifetime.
How Teen Process Addiction Treatment at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Can Help
At Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, our team of addiction and mental health experts work tirelessly to help adolescent boys overcome their addictions and live healthier, stronger lives in recovery.
Our teen process addiction treatment center focuses on helping people uncover the cause of their process addiction and learn tools to manage their symptoms.
For some, this means learning how to focus their energies on healthy, rewarding, and productive tasks. Others will need to learn how to manage their mental health symptoms through different means than their process addiction.
Each case is unique, but our counselors and therapists are up to the task. We’re dedicated to using evidence-based treatment methods that truly work. To start treatment at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, contact our team at 866.300.5275. Process addictions can be overcome, and our team can show your teenage boy how to recover.