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Posted by Support @ Sun Feb 28 2021

Understanding the Many Different Types of Addiction

Almost our entire population has been affected by addiction in one way or another. Many of us have either suffered from addiction ourselves or known a loved one who has suffered.

Addiction can have many different faces and may not fit the idea you have in your head from reading a book or a movie. There are a variety of different addictions and different severity levels within each of them.

What is important to remember is that anyone can recover from addiction with the right treatment. In this article, we will be discussing the different types of addiction that people experience.

The Different Types of Addiction: Two Umbrellas

When speaking about the different types of addiction out there, many different addictions come to mind.

All of these addictions fall under two different addiction umbrellas:

  1. Chemical addictions
  2. Behavioral addictions

The vast majority of addictions are described within the DSM-5, which means that doctors are able to diagnose people with these addictions. However, some addictions, such as shopping, sex, or other types of addictions, are not included in this manual.

That does not necessarily mean that these other types of addictions are not real. It just means that there is not enough peer-reviewed evidence yet to include them in the DSM-5.

For addictions like stealing, shopping, or sex, there are still support groups and different treatments individuals can try to improve their lives.

Let’s dive a bit deeper to learn about the two primary types of addiction.

Chemical Addictions

Chemical addiction usually refers to a substance use disorder for individuals.

There is a lot of stigma around substance use disorders and understanding chemical addiction more closely can help relieve this stigma so that people can receive the help they need.

There are multiple symptoms and signs that indicate a chemical addiction:

  • A person needs more of an addictive substance in order to feel the effects they did the first time they “used”
  • A person may engage in reckless behavior due to the chemical substance that they otherwise would not engage in
  • A person tries to quit the substance but they are unable to
  • Intense cravings and obsessive thoughts surrounding the substance
  • And many other symptoms

These types of symptoms can naturally lead to issues in interpersonal relationships, work, health, finances, and more. Chemical addiction is serious and can affect all aspects of a person’s life.

Different Types of Chemical Addictions

Here are several common chemical substances that people may become addicted to:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Nicotine
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • And others

If a person is trying to quit using a chemical substance, they may want to seek medical help to help them through withdrawal. For some substances, withdrawing can have serious symptoms that require medical attention.

For people that have not experienced addiction, it may be frustrating that a person struggling with addiction does not simply stop using the substance. Understanding addiction more thoroughly and seeking help for yourself and your loved one are the best ways to grapple with these feelings.

Behavioral Addiction

Typically, people have a bit of an easier time understanding chemical addictions rather than behavioral addictions.

Behavioral addictions are when a person continuously engages in a certain type of behavior, even though it may be detrimental to their life.

There is a wide range of different behaviors that people can become addicted to. The vast majority of behaviors are harmless in small amounts and many people engage in these behaviors.

However, behavioral addiction is when a person is unable to limit the particular behavior they are addicted to. They will engage in the behavior or be thinking about it constantly.

Different Types of Behavioral Addictions

Here are a few examples of behavioral addictions that people suffer from:

  • Sex and love
  • Gambling
  • Internet gaming
  • Internet
  • Shopping
  • Stealing
  • Food
  • Exercise

Some of these addictions can be tricky to identify and treat. For example, you may be thinking, isn’t exercise a good thing? Shouldn’t we exercise several times a week?

When it comes to exercise addiction, the root issue is usually related to body image or eating disorder issues. The individual suffering from the addiction will become obsessed with physical fitness and engage in this behavior to the point that it may be dangerous to themselves.

Another example is with the internet. The vast majority of us use the internet every day, multiple times a day. In fact, many people overuse the internet day-to-day.

However, an addiction is something a bit beyond getting carried away on Facebook.

Someone suffering from an internet addiction may become distressed if they are not able to get online. They may be unable to limit their screentime despite their best efforts. And they may be compulsively checking things on their phone or PC, despite boundaries they have set for themselves.

You can see how any of the behaviors listed above can begin to be extremely detrimental to an individual suffering from addiction.

However, like chemical addiction, there are real and concrete solutions to treat behavioral addictions.

Seeking help if you or a loved one feels they are suffering from a behavioral addiction can help you regain control of your life!

Understanding Different Types of Addiction

Now you know the different types of addiction and how they can impact people’s lives.

Addiction is not the end for anyone, and it does not necessarily mean someone will suffer from addiction forever. Patients can go to inpatient or outpatient care to receive therapy and treatment to heal from their addiction. These types of therapies can help individuals heal and establish new, healthy habits so that they can thrive in their everyday life.

Are you seeking treatment for a loved one suffering from drug addiction? Please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!

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