Addiction is a disorder of the brain that involves the motivation and reward centers of the brain. This compulsion is driven by a ‘high’ or a pleasant feeling that is experienced when engaging in a particular activity. The stimulant that provides this sense of elevation can be drugs, alcohol, work, gambling, sexual activity, and even love.

It is estimated that millions of people globally are dependent on one form of substance or another. It is only through raised awareness and being able to identify the symptoms of dependence that this rate can be reduced. There are centers that offer addiction treatment in Toronto and cities all over Canada. First, however, one must be able to understand what addictive behaviors are.

Causes of Dependence

It is difficult to identify one singular cause for addiction as there are many contributing factors. It has been noted, however, that there is a significant correlation between mental illness and addiction. Many people who have been identified with a dependence and have also been diagnosed with a mental disorder. In some instances, it also appears that certain people have a predisposition to developing a dependence. There are some people who develop an addiction as a response to the negative impact of their environment and surroundings.


More often than not, people get addicted to the feeling that they get when they indulge in their activity or drug of choice. This substance or action triggers the pleasure center of the brain. In certain instances, people wish to recreate that similar experience over and over again. This can create a tolerance within the body. The user will require greater amounts of the drug or activity to experience that same level of pleasure. The repeated intake of the drug or partaking of the action eventually changes how your brain perceives pleasure.

Treating Dependence

There are many obstacles that one faces when attempting to overcome an addiction. It can often be difficult to convince the dependent individuals that they actually have an addiction. Surmounting this initial problem, there are still many difficulties along the road to recovery. There is however drug, alcohol, gambling, and sex addiction therapy available for individuals. This is counseling that creates an environment for the affected individuals to overcome their addiction. They are provided with tools to refrain from their compulsive behaviors.

Therapy is particularly important with addiction as it tends to be a chronic disorder. Thus, many people require continuous help as they battle their dependence. Counseling may begin with a one-on-one interaction with counselor and patient. Once a certain amount of progress has been made, the patient then may be introduced to group treatment. This is where they will begin to interact with other individuals who have had dependences on similar stimulants as them. Changing ones destructive behavior is an important step in overcoming addictive and compulsive behaviors.

Dependence is a worldwide phenomenon and the daily pressures of life are leading to a rise in this occurrence. This is why it is important to understand dependence and what can be done to treat it. It is only then that the situation can be improved.


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