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What Are The Different Types Of Addiction

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Addiction: Types, Causes, and Solutions (For Teens)

At Synergy Recovery, we focus on your recovery by providing a customized treatment plan. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs that use both counseling and medication to help you come to terms with and manage your addiction. Everyones story is different, and we tailor our treatment to you. If you recognize you need help, you have already made a huge step toward recovery. Contact us today to book an appointment and begin moving forward with your recovery and your life.

Substance Abuse In An Addict

As touched on before, an individual does not have to be physically dependent on a substance to be an addict. They may go days without a drink or drug, but when they do succumb to the mental compulsion, they invariably lose all control of the amount they consume. This can lead to devastating consequences, a change in personality whilst intoxicated, or a binge that can last for hours, days or even weeks at a time. In between they will have periods of abstinence or some control. The aftermath of their last drink or drug episode does not even come into their thought process once the psychological compulsion kicks in or if it does, it is threadbare and they are convinced to their inner core that this time will be different they will be in control. Due to the physical aspect of addiction, it very rarely is and tends to get progressively worse.

How To Identify An Addiction

Many pleasurable activities can become addictions, but how do you recognize that shift from enjoyable pastime to dependency? Some common signs of addiction include:

  • Priority shift: Are other aspects of your life, such as work, school or socialization, becoming less important than taking that drug, having a drink, swiping your credit card or gaming?
  • Lack of control: Do you find yourself returning to the same behavior even though you recognize it is a problem?
  • Increased tolerance: Do you need to take more of a drug or drink more to get the same feeling you are chasing? Do you need to shop, bet, eat or play more?
  • Increased risk-taking behavior: Are you less concerned with risks and consequences than with achieving that pleasurable feeling? Addicts often risk their health, safety, relationships and financial security to maintain their addiction.
  • Withdrawal: Do you feel unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms if you are unable to indulge in your substance or activity of choice?

Recommended Reading: How To Help Someone With Heroin Addiction

How Do Drugs Affect The Brain

Most drugs affect the brains reward system, generating a series of reactions that can lead to larger-than-normal releases of the neurotransmitter dopamine.4 As a result, people may experience a flood of pleasurable feelings . Dopamine normally helps motivate positive behaviors such as eating and spending time with friends and family. When there are surges of dopamine associated with drug use, however, it instead can motivate unhealthy behaviors, which may lead a person to keep using the drug over and over.3

With repeated use of certain drugs, the brain adapts to the presence of the drug over time. This could lead a person to use more of the drug to achieve the same feelings that it gave before.4 This effect is known as tolerance. For example, 2 drinks may initially be all a person needs to have to feel the pleasant effects of alcohol. But after repeated, regular use, it may take 3 drinks to feel the same way.4 This can lead to a person increasing their use of a substance as tolerance increases.

Long-term use of drugs or alcohol can cause additional changes in the brain that affects:7

  • Learning.
  • Behavior.

Signs And Symptoms Of Gambling Addiction

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Gambling addiction is different from casual gambling. If youre wondering whether or not you are addicted to gambling, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you constantly preoccupied with when youll be able to gamble next?
  • Do you use gambling as an escape?
  • Do you place large bets you cant afford?
  • Do you borrow money to gamble more?
  • Have you lied or stolen in order to get more money?
  • Do you promise yourself or your loved ones youll stop, only to continue gambling?
  • Have your relationships suffered as a result?
  • Do you gamble in an attempt to recoup your losses?

People who gamble recreationally are usually able to stick to their pre-set limit, and do not continue playing when they lose or gamble with money they dont have. Gambling addiction, on the other hand, functions on much deeper levels.

Read Also: How To Stop An Addiction

But What Should I Do If I Think My Friend Or Loved One Has An Addiction

How can I help? Fortunately, there are also many self-help tools available if you feel your loved one is struggling with dependency issues or addiction. This article highlights tips to help you respectfully and calmly talk to your friend or loved one about their addiction.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that approximately 130 people, in the United States, die from drug addictions each day.

~ Psychologist Note

  • Energy Drink Addiction

Types Of Addiction: List Of Addictions

Types of addiction range from everyday drugs like alcohol and cocaine to behaviors like gambling and stealing. Some types of addiction are specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders while others are more controversial and have been identified by some addiction professionals.

The types of addiction seen with drug use are defined in the DSM-5, but it uses the terms substance abuse and substance dependency. Neither equates to addiction directly but rather, refers to harmful use of substances. Addiction is both psychological and behavioral. Addictions are characterized by craving, compulsion, an inability to stop using the drug and lifestyle dysfunction due to drug use. .

Behavioral addictions are those not involving a substance. This type of addiction can be an impulse control disorder as defined in the DSM-IV-TR or an addiction identified by an addiction professional. Behavioral addictions outside of the DSM-5 are controversial and many don’t feel they meet the requirement of being an official addiction.

Recommended Reading: How To Help Someone With Weed Addiction

What Defines An Addict

There are two defining points thatan addict from someone who overindulges.

The addict:

  • Once they pick up a substance or activity, they invariably lose all control of their consumption/actions and find it extremely difficult if not impossible to stop.
  • Once they have managed to stop whether it be due to a severe consequence or medical intervention such as a medical detox, due to the illness residing in the mind, they are unable to stay stopped. At some point, unless appropriate treatment is received for the psychological aspect of addiction, they will relapse.
  • An individual who over indulges, given a sufficient reason to stop, such as the threat of losing their job, health warning, or relationship breakdown, will be able to stop or moderate. They may even need medical help for a dependency, but they can stay stopped. An addict will not be able to stop, moderate or stay stopped, regardless of the severity of the consequences to their health, mental wellbeing, finances, career or personal relationships not without the correct professional help and treatment.

    If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please do not waste another day. Addiction claims lives on a daily basis and impacts on loved ones and families like no other illness can. Please call or chat to us online today, for immediate help and confidential advice on the next right steps to take and on the best addiction treatments available

    Getting Treatment For Addiction

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    People struggling with substance use should know that it is treatable and there are numerous options for substance use treatment. Effective treatment is characterized by individualized care that addresses the whole person including physical, medical, social, psychological, and legal considerations.10 Treatment options may include:8

    Depending on the substances a person is being treated for, how long theyve been abusing them, and other factors, treatment may involve a combination of behavioral methods, medication, treatment for co-occurring mental health or medical disorders, and aftercare.9 Its important that a persons treatment be continually assessed to ensure that their needs are being attended to, as they may change over the course of treatment.10

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    Relapse Prevention And Aftercare

    We know that addiction treatment is just the beginning. Thats why we offer a variety of options for continuing care, to ensure that your lifelong recovery is supported and you remain connected to our community. We offer an onsite Step Down Programme to help you transition more easily back into your day-to-day life, as well as complementary online aftercare so you can continue the important work you started in counselling.

    What Happens In The Brain With Behavioral Addiction

    Behavioral and chemical addictions share some similar features, but there are also some key differences. In behavioral addiction, there is no substance at the core of the addictionit is the behavior that becomes problematic.

    However, Dr. Lira de la Rosa says the same principles of chemical addiction apply to behavioral addiction. There is still a release of dopamine in the brain when the person engages in the addictive behavior, such as gambling, sex, internet, shopping, or video games, and with repeated use, the person continues to engage in the behavior seeking the same high or pleasure from the behavior, he says.

    After repeated use, the person builds a tolerance, and if they try to stop or decrease the behavior, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like unpleasant emotions, including irritability or anxiety. This is how someone could get to a place of engaging in a particular behaviorlike playing video gamesfor hours on end. It may only become noticeable when you or a loved one starts withdrawing from important relationships or neglecting responsibilities.

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    Best Alcohol Rehab Center In Thailand

    If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, it is normal to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of treatment. The decision to get help is a very important first step. But how can you be sure you are choosing the right rehab? Your needs and circumstances are unique to you and your treatment programme should be, too. At our holistic alcohol rehab in Thailand, you can find much-needed reprieve from your daily life and take some time to focus on getting well. Heres a look at how our alcohol treatment in Thailand works.

    The Definition Of Addiction

    Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice?

    According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine , the definition of addiction is the following:

    Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with ones behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

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    Signs Of A Substance Use Problem

    When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you may have a problem with substance abuse include if you:

    • Lack interest in things you used to love
    • Change your friends a lot
    • Stop taking care of yourself
    • Spend more time alone than you used to
    • Eat more or less than normal
    • Sleep at odd hours

    What Is Alcohol Addiction

    Alcohol is a legal substance that is highly addictive. Those who abuse alcohol are in danger of developing a physical and psychological dependence on it. If someone becomes addicted to alcohol, they will continue to drink, even though doing so may lead to harmful consequences.

    Common examples

    Abuse of wine coolers, liquor, beer, mixed drinks, etc. It also includes binge drinking and heavy drinking.

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    What Are The Causes Of Addiction

    There is no single cause of an addiction. Addictions involve complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and a persons life experiences.1 Researchers have identified a number of potential risk factors that may contribute to a person developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These factors may stem from various areas, including a persons biology, environment, and development.7 These risk factors include:7

    • Gender.
    • Family life.
    • Traumatic experiences.

    There isnt one specific risk factor that can predict whether or not someone gets addicted to a substance.7 Addiction is often associated with a combination of these factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs could lead to addiction.7

    Some common motivations for use and/or misuse of substances can include:5

    • Trying to feel betterusing substances to improve mood or soothe pain.
    • To perform betterusing some substances may make people feel like they can focus better at work or in school.

    Curiositysome people may want to experiment or feel pressured by others.

    How Do Habits Become An Addiction

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    A habit is something we are accustomed to doing. Maybe you have a glass of wine or a beer after a particularly stressful day at work. That is a common habit for many people. But what if that habit becomes a daily activity? What if a drink is the only answer you have to cope with stress? You are likely crossing the line from habit to addiction. It is best to acknowledge and seek help for this issue as soon as possible to avoid forming an addiction thatll become difficult to break.

    Any substance or activity that becomes a compulsion something you cant stop doing even if you try is likely considered an addiction.

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    Give Your Teen The Tools To Overcome Addiction

    Is your son or daughter in need of teen substance abuse treatment? Maybe your teen struggles with another type of addiction altogether. Regardless of the addiction, you can count on Destinations for Teens to help. We offer a wide variety of programs that can help your teen overcome addiction, such as:

    The Different Types Of Addiction: A Basic Guide

    Are you worried about addiction?

    23.5 million Americans have an alcohol or drug addiction. Even more suffer through non-physical addictions too. For many, they can feel like there is no way out.

    But if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. It can be useful to know what you’re up against, and how to get the help you need.

    Read on to learn about the most common types of addiction and what action you can take.

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    There Is Hope For Recovery

    While controlling compulsions can seem impossible, there are several options for recovery. The first step is to acknowledge the challenges behavioral addictions can cause, along with the need for help. This can help one to take control of their life. There is support available after taking the first step toward recovery. Contact a treatment provider today and start your journey.

    • About

    Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

    Clinically Reviewed:

    David Hampton

    • About

    All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

    Why Choose Free By The Sea

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    Free by the Sea is a beautiful detox and addiction treatment facility located on the Long Beach Peninsula in Ocean Park, WA. Every staff member and professional here at Free by the Sea is dedicated to providing the highest quality treatment to all of our patients. We are also committed to treating each of our patients with dignity and respect.

    When receiving treatment at Free by the Sea, you can rest assured that the care that you are receiving will help you overcome your addiction. This is because our facility adheres to evidence-based practices that are focused on successful outcomes for long-term recovery.

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    What Are The Different Types Of Addiction

    Addiction can take shape in two ways: overusing or misusing substances or excessively engaging in behaviors despite the negative consequences either results in. These two types of addiction are typically recognized as chemical or behavioral.

    As you probably know, chemical addiction involves substances like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs. What you might not know is that every substance has a different effect on both our bodies and our brains, Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in New York City who is part of the media advisory group at the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, tells SELF.

    In particular, he explains, substances tamper with your brains communication system, altering the way your brain sends, receives, or processes information. Substances can either mimic your natural brain chemicals or overstimulate your brains reward system, Dr. Lira de la Rosa says.

    Outside of the brain, this can manifest in certain behaviors that you or a loved one may notice. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness , symptoms of chemical addiction or substance use disorder include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Relationship, school, and work difficulties
  • Developing a high tolerance to the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance
  • Needing the drug to function
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors
  • Preoccupation with the behavior
  • Using the behavior to mask or avoid negative feelings
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