Addictions without Drugs: Contemporary Addictions or Way of Life?

Psychiatr Danub. 2018 Sep;30(Suppl 6):371-379.


In the five thousand years of recorded history there is written evidence of various types of addiction. In recent decades scientists focus their attention on addictions without the immediate introduction of psychoactive substances into the organism or the so-called "addictions without drugs". Studies have revealed a number of similarities between drug addictions and addictions without drugs that also carry biological, psychological and social consequences in the form of addictive activity carvings, adrenaline alarm, dopamine and serotonin secretion, tolerance and abstinence syndrome same as classical forms of addiction. Although the physiological effect of addiction without drugs on the brain and nervous system is not yet sufficiently explored, scientists have found equivalent effects on addicts suffering from one or the other type of addiction. These addicts are almost generally dysfunctional persons who become prisoners of their own passions, and the consequences are numerous technological advantages offered by modern times and in some respects a punishment due to the civilization for forgetting the man himself. Considering that most people, so and many psychiatrist, often accept these addictions as a lifestyle and without any delay and awareness of the potential dangers they may pose, we can with certainty say that the so-called "addictions without drugs" are the scourge of the 21st century. With pathological gambling, which is as old as human civilization, in recent decades we meet the growing problems of internet addiction, gambling games, which are classified for the first time at DSM V in addictive disorder, uncontrolled shopping, food cravings, addiction to sex, weight loss, sports, work and many more, which are mostly true addictions, and not only the way of life. The aim of this paper is to point to the growing problem of addiction without drugs, which is becoming an increasing problem within our community.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Gambling*
  • Humans
  • Social Conditions