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Can You Be Addicted to Love?

Not only can you be addicted to love – like you can be addicted to almost anything – but new studies are comparing love addiction and the effects of a break-up to the effects of drug addiction and trying to ‘kick the habit’ with your drug of choice. Brain scans reveal that physiologically, the changes that occur when we heal from a broken heart are very similar to those who are healing after a physical and psychological dependence upon an addictive substance.

Brain Scans? How is a Breakup Similar to Drug Addiction Recovery?

A biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, Helen Fisher, took a look at the brain scans of college-age students when they were shown pictures of their ex. Apparently, the same parts of the brain lit up on the scan that were associated with cocaine and nicotine addiction, physical pain and distress.

In a way, it makes sense. Consider the actions deemed acceptable by those going through a serious break-up – would an objective person obsess over their ex, imagine that he or she wants them back and take measures to make that happen, or crave their attention by calling obsessively or showing up anywhere where the ex might appear? It’s the same kind of behavior displayed by someone fighting drug addiction: they, too, obsess over their drug of choice, rationalize why continued use won’t hurt them or is even good for them, and go out of their way – even making dangerous choices – to get more of the drug they crave.

The end result is a deep depression or anxiety and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts and ideations. The solution? Treatment.

Is There Treatment for Love Addiction?

No. But there is treatment for drug addiction and very often the two issues collide. Many who go through a breakup report heavy usage of alcohol, painkillers, heroin and other drugs designed to ‘numb’ the pain. They are so depressed that they see no reason to pull themselves out of their growing addiction despite all the problems they are causing themselves as a result. Drug addiction treatment can help those in this situation to get back on track, while also receiving counseling and grief treatment for the issues related to the breakup. This two-pronged approach to recovery can help the individual struggling to get back to a place of balance emotionally and further their progress in drug addiction treatment.

Drug Addiction Treatment Help for Women

If you are a woman who is struggling with a breakup as well as drug and alcohol addiction, an intensive treatment program can help you to process what happened and move forward in your life. Contact us at The Orchid today to learn how we can help you.

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