John-Mark I. Chambers
The University of the West Indies
Love addiction and substance dependence have similar characteristics, namely, the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the presence of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, and the negative influences they have on a person’s life. Love addiction is similar to addictive drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and heroin because of the effects that dopamine have on the addict’s mind and body. These effects then lead to a person’s experience of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are very important in the maintenance of an addiction as they cause the person to crave and need more of the addictive entity whether it is a drug or a loved person. Also, love addiction, like substance dependence, has many negative influences on a person’s life such as causing one to neglect important responsibilities. Based on these characteristics, love is a natural drug and health care professionals must take it as seriously as they take substance dependence.
People may not realize it, but love is and has been one of the most powerful aspects of life. No other phenomenon has managed to have such a big influence on movies, paintings, literature and music, and this will continue into the future. Interestingly, love is now being recognized as an addictive phenomenon. The argument that love is a drug is one that has been debated for many years and it is now becoming a popular theory. Numerous song writers are siding with those who believe that love is a drug. This is seen in the lyrics of the songs “Your Love Is My Drug” - Ke$ha, and “Love Is the Drug” - Roxy Music. Love addiction has similarities with substance dependence or drug addiction and it is on this basis that love is a natural drug.
Love addiction and substance dependence have a similar underlying chemical mechanism involving chemicals called neurotransmitters which have many effects...