Addiction Help Podcast – Episode 8 – When ‘Harmless’ Hobbies Become Addiction

Episode 8: When ‘Harmless’ Hobbies Become Addiction

Welcome to Episode 8 of the AddictionHelp podcast, where we dive into the latest news, sports, and entertainment related to addiction and addiction recovery. Our show is hosted by Dan Hauser, and Jessica Miller, Editorial Director for We sincerely appreciate your continued support and encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast feed for regular updates.

Today’s episode focuses on a compelling topic: Behavioral Addiction. We will explore the general concept, specific examples, common misconceptions, and relevant stories from the news. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of behavioral addictions together.

Episode 8 – When ‘Harmless’ Hobbies Become Addictions Video Thumbnail

This week, Dan and Jess tackle behavioral addiction—from gambling to video games and beyond. But what’s the difference between a hobby and an addiction? We’ll cover that and more with a personal share from Dan and the basics of what counts as a behavioral addiction.

Duration: 45 min 09 sec

Behavioral Addiction 101

1. General Overview:

  • Behavioral addiction refers to a person becoming obsessed with a specific activity and continuing to engage in it despite the negative consequences it brings to their lives.
  • Explanation of How it Happens in the Brain: We’ll provide an overview of the neurological processes underlying behavioral addiction, shedding light on its mechanisms.

2. Specific Examples:

  • Gambling: Discuss the allure of gambling and how it can lead to addiction, impacting individuals and their families.
  • Shopping: Explore the addictive nature of excessive shopping and its potential consequences.
  • Social Media/Internet: Examine the addictive behaviors associated with excessive social media and internet use.
  • Pornography: Address the addictive nature of pornography and its effects on individuals and relationships.
  • Food: Highlight the complexities of behavioral addiction related to eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with food.
  • Exercise: Discuss the fine line between a healthy exercise routine and exercise addiction.
  • Video Games: Explore the allure and potential addictive aspects of video gaming. Acknowledge Jess’s healthy enjoyment of games while discussing the risks for others.

3. Common Misconceptions about Behavioral Addictions:

  • We challenge the notion that behavioral addictions are not “real” addictions.
  • While gambling addiction is the only DSM-5-recognized behavioral addiction, all behavioral addictions or process addictions are considered genuine addictions and compulsive behaviors.

Relevant Stories and Topics in the News about Behavioral Addiction

  • We discuss a recent USA Today article on the boom of sports betting and its implications for gambling addiction.
  • Provide statistics on the growth of legal sports betting across the United States.
  • Highlight concerns raised by experts regarding the lack of attention and funding dedicated to problem gambling and gambling addiction support.
  • Mention the efforts made by some sportsbooks, such as FanDuel’s feature that informs users about their logged-in time and wagered amounts.
  • Address the increased vulnerability of young bettors, particularly those between.

A Personal Experience of Behavioral Addiction:

Dan shares his personal experience with an unsuspecting behavioral addiction, reflecting on the lessons learned from his experience with poker and the financial challenges it brought.


In this thought-provoking episode, we navigate through the depths of behavioral addiction, examining its general concept, specific examples, and dispelling common misconceptions. We also explore the impact of sports betting on gambling addiction, shedding light on the need for increased support and awareness in this area.

Join us as we deliver valuable insights into addiction and recovery. Remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with behavioral addiction, seek professional help and support. Together, we can break free from the chains of addiction and pave the way toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Tune in to Episode 8 of the Addiction Help Podcast now on your favorite podcast platform, and join us in exploring the fascinating world of behavioral addiction.

Available on:

Apple Podcasts
Amazon Music

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Chris Carberg is the Founder of Addiction HelpWritten by: Founder & Mental Health Advocate

Chris Carberg is the founder of, and a long-time recovering addict from prescription opioids, sedatives, and alcohol.  Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked as a tireless advocate for addicts and their loved ones while becoming a sought-after digital entrepreneur. Chris is a storyteller and aims to share his story with others in the hopes of helping them achieve their own recovery.