Most addiction specialists would say that your addiction is not yet a problem. That is a way of saying that you are not yet “addicted” in the strict sense of the word. Addiction occurs when your addiction can have a destructive effect on you and the people around you. Or it can rob you of your self esteem and use your money in a negative way. When you are addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opiates, cocaine, etc. there is a direct causal relationship between your addiction and your problems. For example: if you drink excessively and cause your brain to produce more dopamine than it normally does in order to get the feeling of intoxication, then your brain might end up changing your brain chemistry to make your pleasure center become less sensitive to the pain of withdrawal. At the same time that your addiction is affecting your mental state, it is also affecting your relationships. Often, your addiction leads to an overly involved or obsessive personality. Or you become irritable and may spend a lot of time focusing on that addiction, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Because your brain produces less dopamine, you are feeling like you are not as good as someone else. These are just some of the mental effects that an addict can experience when their addiction is causing your brain to function differently. You are creating a pattern of bad behavior and mood changes….

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