The DSM-5 (the diagnostic criteria manual used by mental health professionals) states all drugs or substances taken to excess that have in common the activation of the brain’s reward system, which is involved in reinforcement of behaviors and production of memories that have such a high activation of the reward system that normal activities may be neglected may be addictive disorders. These include alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, tobacco and gambling.
Treatment for these disorders may include Seeking Safety* with group therapy or individually combined with trauma work using EMDR, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Hypnosis, or/and Art Therapy. 12-Step work is also recommended with this treatment.
*Najavits, (2002). Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse.