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What do substance and behavioral addictions have in common?

Whether withdrawal symptoms exist or not, both substance and behavioral addictions tap into a major pathway called the mesolimbic pathway in the brain. It regulates behavior by a release of dopamine, which is the pleasure and reward chemical of the brain. In addiction, the behavior persists to attain this feeling of pleasure and reward, despite the knowledge of negative consequences. That’s where the abnormality lies in the disorder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.