Many assume substance abuse and alcoholism are the two most destructive addictions. However, other forms of addiction can be just as destructive.

2013 saw the introduction of a category of addictions that only pertain to behaviors and not substance use in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

It raised several questions such as whether or not addictions of these sort mirror addictions of other kinds and the best approach for those seeking treatment.

Behavioral Addiction

Addiction to behavioral substances or processes refers to an obsession with certain behaviors or activities. Common behaviors include gambling, shopping, video games, sex, exercise, and eating.

There is still much disagreement about whether behavioral addictions should be considered true addictions, but evidence suggests these behaviors are similar to those of alcoholics and drug addicts.

Similarities between Drug Addiction and Behavioral Addiction

Those who suffer from addiction may engage in strange patterns of behavior that seem illogical. If a substance abuser engages in destructive behaviors, he or she will continue to use or engage in such behaviors despite suffering negative consequences.

In cases of addiction, studies suggest that drug-seeking or behavior seeking behavior is a sustained pattern regardless of the negative consequences for such things as relationships, finances, health, and personal esteem.

It has been shown that whether there is an addiction to a substance or a behavior, both share similar changes to the reward system in the brain. Whether it be opioid usage, sex, or exercise, dopamine releases a rush of pleasure to the addict.

When abuse of drugs or other activities turns into addiction, a person gets locked on seeking more and more of the same rewards by engaging in the same activities repeatedly.

Family members are often destroyed at this point, consequences accumulate, and addicts begin looking for an escape route.


One of the most memorable periods in the life of a young person is college admission. It is a dream come true. Entering college gives a feeling of belonging to a new social class and a higher public image.

The hassle of college life begins when you will need to adapt to the new status quo and norms. Continual exposure to the college culture will cause a change in the value system of the young individual. One of the many college cultures is alcoholism.

Alcoholism in college affects is a major trend in colleges globally. It affects millions of students yearly. Approximate 80% of college students are involved in college alcoholism. This means at least four-fifths of all college students consume alcohol to a large degree.

College life is filled with experimenting with different things. An average freshman wants to enjoy his newfound freedom and liberty. He/she will ride on the trend of college life and try everything in the shortest time possible. An example of such acts is binge drinking.

Binge drinking is the act of drinking a lot of alcohol in very little time to enjoy the full effect of the alcohol. This act might start as just a bottle or two, but soon graduates to taking more bottles in the shortest time.

It is a result of the bodybuilding tolerance to the few bottles it used to receive. Thus, the individual has to take more bottles to feel the full effect of the alcohol.

According to recent records, at least 50% of college students engage in binge drinking. A number of them admit to taking alcohol before gaining college admission. However, with the freedom of college life, they are at liberty to take more than usual.

Primarily, the alcohol culture is caused by peer pressure and the need to feel “belonging” to the social status of the college. The pressure to fit in and make new friends forces them to compromise on their values and resort to drinking.