Malikov Vladislav Mikhailovich
Smolensk State University
master student, 1 course, Faculty of Psychology and Education

The article discusses the specificity of psychological leakage of addictive behavior in a person; the author also describes and systematizes possible psychological determinants that contribute to the transition of addictive behavior to such socially active forms of personal behavior as: “deviant” and “delinquent” behavior. On the basis of systematization and reflection of the described data, the author offers a new look at understanding addictive behavior as a form of hypertrophied experience of existential difficulties of the personality and subsequent destructive forms of responding to reality with linochism, as well as disturbances in the functioning of the psychylogical mechanisms of protection, thinking, perception and loss of subjectivity, generally.

Keywords: addictive behavior, delinquency, deviant behavior, society, surfactants

Category: 19.00.00 Psychology

Article reference:
Malikov V.M. General characteristics of addictive behavior // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2019. № 6 [Electronic journal]. URL:

View this article in Russian

Currently, scientific interest is growing in the study of various forms of addictive behavior. Along with the development of scientific and technological progress, the dynamics of addictive human behavior naturally increases. Initially, the term “addiction” or “addiction” was used exclusively to describe the behavior of people who systematically use chemicals. A person with addictive behavior or dependence is a serious problem for society, since in a pronounced form it can flow into such a negative result as delinquent behavior, loss of employment opportunities, suicidal behavior. In addition, it is one of the most common types of deviant behavior, which also has a huge impact on the behavior of the immediate environment of the addict. Early experience in studying the issue shows that the concept of “addictive behavior” was considered in the form of pernicious or harmful habits, studying this kind of behavior as a weakness on the part of the individual.

Today in medicine they use the definition: “pathological habits” [5, с.121-122]. Such a thesis as “addiction” is also acquired from medical practice. Such a view revealed a new scientific approach to the problem of dependence today.

In a broad sense, addiction is understood as “the desire to rely on someone or something in order to obtain satisfaction or adaptation” [1, с. 21]. It is worth mentioning the understanding of normal and extreme forms of addiction. In order to establish a diagnosis, it is necessary to have 3 or more signs that appear simultaneously during the 1st month, or (if they usually do not last more than 1 month), the repetition of 3 or more symptoms during the last year. Such signs as:

1. Strong need or necessity to take a substance.

2. Violation of the ability to control the intake of a substance: the beginning, the end or the dose. This is evidenced by the use of the substance in large quantities or over a longer period of time than planned, or the constant desire, unsuccessful attempts to reduce or control the use of the substance.

3. The state of physiological abstinence in case of termination or reduction of the substance intake, indicated by: withdrawal syndrome, characteristic of this substance, or the use of another substance in order to prevent or alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

4. Signs of tolerance to the effect of the substance, which result in the need to increase the dose (frequency of intaking) of the substance to achieve the effect previously produced by lower doses (more rare use), or that the constant intake of the same dose of the substance leads to a weaker effect.

5. Preoccupation with the use of a substance, manifested in the fact that for the sake of using a substance, completely or partially refuse other important interests and ways of obtaining pleasure, since the time required for the acquisition of a substance, its reception or recovery after its use increases.

6. Continued use of the substance despite the obvious harmful effects, such as damage to internal organs due to the use of the substance; depressions after periods of intensive use of the substance; decrease in cognitive functions due to use, etc. (it is necessary to determine whether the individual was conscious of or could be aware of the nature and degree of harmful consequences) [3, с.33].

Addictive behavior as a type of deviant behavior includes a large number of subspecies that differ in the dependency agent. Presumably, in the presence of certain factors, actually any kind of activity or objects can act as agents: money, sex, a chemical, exercise, work, etc. These days, the most common are such dependency agents as:

1) Surfactants (psycho-active substances in the form of chemical drugs);

2) Alcoholic beverages (this agent of dependence, many modern classifications are introduced in the first paragraph);

3) Food products;

4) Various gambling agents (game addiction);

5) Pornography (and various agents related to sex);

6) Religious sects, cults, and more.

“Dependent (addictive) behavior is one of the forms of deviant personal behavior that is associated with the abuse of something or someone for the purpose of self-regulation or adaptation” [1, с.9-10]. The nature of the negative manifestation of addictive behavior is diverse: from bordering on the norm to the physiologically complicated forms of addiction, which, in turn, are accompanied by mental and somatic pathologies.

The process of formation of addictive behavior does not arise spontaneously, it manifests itself cyclically, moving from one stage to another, gradually forming into an “addictive attitude”.

“An addictive attitude is characterized primarily in the formation of an over-valuable emotional connection to an addiction agent, for example, in the form of the experience that there should always be a supply of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.” [8, с.293].

Thoughts of this nature gradually begin to dominate. The frequency of the manifestation of the psychological mechanism of rationalization increases. An addictive installation necessarily leads up to the fact that the addiction agent becomes the meaning of life, and its abuse becomes a lifestyle.

Table 1 – «5 most dangerous chemical dependencies»

5 most dangerous chemical dependencies:

Thus, the problem of “dependence” is complex and individual. For each case of manifestation in a person of dependent behavior, it is worthwhile to look in a versatile and personalized way, focusing, first of all, on the psychological determinants of the emerging destructive behavior patterns. The commonality of the mechanisms of manifestation of chemical and non-chemical addiction is caused not by an addiction agent, but by the formation of a dependent type of thinking and perception of this world and interpersonal relationships, by means of a destructive response to them.

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