Recently, David Matthau from 101.5 FM radio commented that he was stunned to see so many drivers using cell phones to text and make phone calls, despite the illegality of such actions and the knowledge that distracted driving, and texting in particular, leads to many accidents, some of which include fatalities. We discussed the question of whether this type of phone use is addictive, and if so, what actually causes addictions.
An addiction is a compulsive repetition of a behavior that ends up causing us to repeat the behavior so frequently that it impairs our judgment, relationships, and work. There are two types of addictions. The first involves chemicals, and actually changes our brain chemistry. All addictions to substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco fall into this category. The second, sometimes referred to as “process addictions”, involves excessive behaviors such as eating (binge eating, bingeing and purging, and anorexia), spending, gambling, shoplifting, sexual activity, computer and hand held device use.