Types of Addictions

Whenever we encounter the word "addiction", the thing that immediately comes to mind is drugs and alcohol abuse. Addiction, however, reaches far beyond just drugs and booze. Strictly defined, an addiction is the habitual compulsion to use a substance, or to engage in an activity without much regard for its detrimental effects on a person's physical, mental, financial social and spiritual well-being.

Many people suffer from different addiction types other than drugs and alcohol, and here are some of them.

Drug Addiction

From marijuana to heroin to LSD and ketamine, these drugs have a had huge impact of society ever since people began turning to them for refuge or recreation.

  • Alcohol Addiction Brain damage, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, impotence. Love of the bottle can get any alcoholic that, and so much more. Learn more about alcohol abuse.
  • Nicotine Addiction Many smokers probably wish they could stop smoking. Nicotine, however, seems to make it more difficult for them to do so. Learn more about nicotine dependency.
  • Cocaine Addiction Cocaine is one of the priciest drugs in the market. That fact, however, doesn't deter millions of users from making it the most abused major stimulant in America. Learn more about cocaine addiction effects.
  • Opiate Addiction Opiates are often used to relieve pain. Addicts use it for so much more than just that. Learn more about opiate dependency.
  • Heroin Addiction There was a time when heroin was considered "harmless". Whoever said that must have been an addict himself. Learn more about heroin addiction symptoms.
  • Meth Addiction This is the drug that is giving cocaine a run for its money in the United States. One national survey reveals that approximately 10 million people in the United States have tried methamphetamine at least once. Learn more about crystal meth addiction.
  • Methadone Addiction Oddly enough, this opiate analgesic used to treat people for heroin addictions has become quite an addiction itself. An appropriate substitute for morphine indeed. Learn more about methadone addiction.
  • Marijuana Addiction Call it "pot," "herb," "weed," "boom," "Mary Jane," "bud." "gangster," and "chronic." No matter what the name, this is still the most frequently used illegal drug in the world. Learn more about marijuana addiction symptoms.
  • Caffeine Addiction Can't make it through the day without your macchiato? Then you're addicted to caffeine. Learn more about caffeine addiction.
  • Steroid Addiction Steroids are famous for their performance enhancing and muscle building properties. No wonder it's the drug of choice for many athletes. Learn more about steroid addiction effects.
  • Vicodin Addiction Vicodin abusers tend to make some of the most adamant denials they're addicted to the drug. It is, after all, prescribed by a doctor for pain medication, and therefore, they can't be addicted. More info about Vicodin addiction.
  • Prescription Drug Addiction No one who starts out taking prescription drugs set out to be come addicts. But unfortunately, most prescription drugs, like Vicodin, Codeine and Demerol, are physically addictive. Learn more about prescription drug addiction.

Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral addiction is different from drug addiction in the sense that no mind-altering substance is being ingested. Still, it displays the same symptoms as drug or alcohol abuse. A behavioral addict, by definition, is someone who couldn't control or stop an activity despite experiencing adverse consequences of the activity. Learn more about the different types of behavioral addictions.

  • Gambling Addiction Most people gamble for fun. When gambling stops being a recreational activity and becomes a way to seek thrills or as a means of escape on a regular basis, then it becomes an addiction. Learn more about gambling addiction.
  • Food Addiction We all eat to live. Some people, however, live to eat, as they compulsively and obsessively crave for and eat food even when they're not hungry or when they're depressed. Learn more about food addiction symptoms.
  • Sex Addiction Few people would admit they're addicted to sex. Little do they know that when the compulsive use of pornography and masturbation to repeated sexual affairs, regular use of prostitutes, voyeurism or just obsessively thinking about sex becomes the norm, they are already sex addicts.
  • Love Addiction Love addiction is not really about love. Truth be told, love addiction is closer to codependency, an unhealthy one at that, than love. Learn more about the symptoms of relationship and love compulsions.
  • Porn Addiction Porn addiction is characterized by compulsive reading of pornography, obsessive viewing or thinking about pornography and any other sexual themes. If you've got boxes upon boxes of porn videos at home, or when you actually think that the Internet is for porn, chances are, you're a porn addict.
  • Work Addiction otherwise known as "workaholism" in the U.S., is the most respectable, encouraged and praised of all addictions. It's also pretty deadly, claiming hundreds of lives a year mainly through stress related heart attack and stroke. Find out if you or someone you know could be a workaholic.
  • Exercise Addiction Exercising is healthy. Exercising to the point of dependency and compulsion is not. Learn more about exercise addiction effects.
  • Video Game Addiction This is one addiction parents should really worry about. After all, children and teenagers make up the bulk of video game addicts. Find out if you or a loved one have become addicted to video games.
  • Shopping Addiction Going into a store planning to buy one pair of shoes and coming out with seven, or spending $500 instead of the budgeted $100 are some symptoms of a shopping addict. And just like an alcoholic or a drug addict, "shopaholics" tend to keep proof of their excessive shopping habits from their partners.

Nicotine Addiction

The reason cigarette smoking is such a hard habit to break is because nicotine is a highly-addictive substance. Every time you take a drag off of a cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate increase for a short time. Nicotine is one of the hardest addictions to break.  What is Nicotine Addiction? Nicotine is one of the chemicals that are present in tobacco products, and it is responsible for giving smokers a "rush" within about 10 seconds of taking a drag of the cigarette. The effect doesn't last for very long, which is why a person with a nicotine addiction keeps lighting up.

Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Using cocaine may be compared to a roller coaster. The person using this drug experiences a pleasurable "high," but that good feeling only lasts for a short time before the user starts to come down again. The cocaine addict continues to use the drug to attempt to recreate the experience they enjoyed so much. What is Cocaine Addiction? Cocaine addictions can start off by the person being introduced to the drug at a party. They use the drug and enjoy the feeling of euphoria that it gives them. The individual may continue to use the drug as part of their social activities, and not realize they are falling into a cycle of cocaine abuse.

Opiate Addiction and Abuse

Opiates are narcotics, and drugs in this category tend to make the user feel sleepy (downers), as opposed to energized (uppers). Many are powerful and can severely "numb" the user. As medication, opiates are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. The term opiate refers to any of the narcotic alkaloids found in opium, as well as all derivatives of such alkaloids. Common Opiate Use People with chronic pain, cancer, or who are recovering from surgery may be prescribed these medications. Opiates include such prescription medications as:

Heroin Addiction and Abuse

Heroin is a narcotic and an illegal drug that is typically injected or snorted by users though it can be smoked. The manner in which the drug, from the opiates family, is ingested has little bearing on the potential for addiction. The fact is that repeated use leads to addiction, whether you are using needles or not.

Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse

Methamphetamine is also known as meth, speed, crank, or crystal. It is a white powder with a bitter taste that can be easily dissolved in alcohol or water. This drug may be smoked, snorted, or injected. The feeling of euphoria it creates may last for several hours.

Caffeine Addiction and Effects

Caffeine is used in a number of products that we consume. You will find it in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, as well as several kinds of medication. Over 80 percent of the Earth's population eat, drink, or consume caffeine on a daily basis. What is Caffeine Addiction? A caffeine addict is someone who doesn't just enjoy their morning coffee or a sweet chocolate treat. They feel that they can't get through the day without consuming caffeine. Without it, they don't feel alert. Signs of Caffeine Dependence Caffeine addicts display these kinds of symptoms:

Marijuana Addiction and Abuse

The most common method for using marijuana is to place the dried leaves, stems, and flowers of this plant onto rolling paper and make it into a cigarette, to be smoked. It can also be smoked in a waterpipe or "bong", or other metal or glass pipe. This drug can also be put in food products or mixed with coffee or tea. 

Methadone Addiction and Abuse

Methadone is a medication given to people being treated for heroin and other types of addiction. It is a controversial choice, with those opposed to this method pointing out that addicts are trading one type of addiction for another. The drug is taken orally when being given to treat addictions, but it may also be injected. Some people continue to use methadone for years after they stop using heroin.

Prescription Addiction and Abuse

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem that many people don't take as seriously as they should. Since the medications were originally prescribed by a doctor, they feel that prescription drug abuse is different than when the person is using street drugs. Prescription drug addicts are addicted, in the same way that those who get hooked on cocaine, heroin, or other types of illegal drugs are.

Steroid Addiction and Abuse

Steroids are produced in the human body naturally. The anabolic steroids you hear of athletes using are testosterone, and used to build muscle quickly. Originally developed to treat males who didn't produce sufficient testosterone and to build up muscle in concentration camp survivors, athletes started experimenting with them in the 1940s. Steroids may be injected, taken orally, or rubbed onto the skin as a cream or a gel.

Vicodin Addiction and Abuse

Vicodin is prescribed as a pain medication. It is made of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone, which is a synthetic version of codeine. Vicodin abuse is all too common among users and is one of the most common subjects of prescription drug abuse.

Compulsive Exercise Addiction

Exercise is an example of something that on the surface may sound like it would be good for us, being taken to extremes. However exercise addiction and extreme fixation on physical fitness is a compulsive behavior that may be quite difficult to stop without appropriate treatment.

Food Addiction

We need to eat to live. That's a basic fact. We enjoy eating food that is well prepared and presented, and that tastes good. For a food addict, their obsession with food goes well beyond enjoying a great meal. The obsession with eating, or rather consuming, takes over their lives.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling addictions happens when a person takes having fun playing a game where they have a chance to win to an extreme level. Instead of being an enjoyable pastime, it is something that they feel compelled to do and typically risk everything to continue doing even as losses amass. What is Gambling Addiction? Gambling addicts are not in control of whether they will gamble or not. These compulsive gamblers feel a rush or a high from the experience, and they continue doing the behavior to get it over and over.  Both online gambling and real world forms, such as playing poker at a casino, can be extremely addictive.

Love Addiction

The term "love addiction" is a bit of a misnomer. Love addicts aren't really in love with the person who is the object of their affection. Instead, the addiction surrounds a series of compulsive actions that the person is unable to stop.

Porn Addiction

Porn addiction is more than viewing erotic materials for personal enjoyment or as something shared with a partner to add some variety to one's love life. A porn addict uses this medium as a way to space out to deal with stress, worries, or emotional upset, or in an attempt to get a "high" from seeing images that feed into their sexual fantasies. What is Porn Addiction? Porn addicts either accumulate large collections of pornography or spend a lot of time viewing Internet porn. Typically, they isolate themselves while watching, and they may spend hours or days in this activity. Despite wanting to stop or being told they need to stop by their partner or a concerned friends or family members, they are unable to give up their porn habit.

Sex Addiction

Snicker if you will, but sex addiction is no laughing matter. Instead of having healthy sexual relationships, a sex addict uses the activity as a way to get a rush, deal with stress, or escape from negative feelings. They get caught up in fantasizing about sex and in sexual activities to the extent that it interferes with their everyday lives.

Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction is also known as oniomania. This is considered to be an impulse control disorder that is similar to gambling, food, or sex addictions. Shopping addiction is a condition that affects just under nine percent of people in the United States. What is Shopping Addiction? Shopping can be an enjoyable experience, but when it becomes out of control, the person is living with an addiction. The shopping addict may feel compelled to buy items they don't need or really want; they get a rush from the experience itself. Despite efforts to stop the reckless spending, the shopping addict is unable to change their behavior.

Video Game Addiction

People who play video games to excess run the risk of becoming video game addicts. They become more engaged with playing than with their lives in the real world. What is Video Game Addiction? Video game addicts are living with a psychological addiction to playing. This form of addiction is not currently included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) due to a lack of research and evidence indicating that it is a disorder. If it is officially recognized as a psychological disorder, it will likely be placed in the same category as gambling addiction - a disorder involving a lack of impulse control Signs of Video Game Addiction Signs that a person has become a video game addict include:

Work Addiction

Work addiction is a type of addiction that may not be taken as seriously as it should. It's not the same thing as someone working hard or trying to keep their job. It's an obsessive-compulsive behavior that can lead to some serious consequences. What is Work Addiction? Unlike a person who wants to be a good employee or is a driven entrepreneur, work addicts don't have a sense of balance in their lives. Even when they are away from work, they can't stop thinking about work or doing some activity associated with work. Even if they are told that they are damaging their health or that their personal relationships are suffering, they keep up the same demanding work schedule.

Alcohol Addiction

Determining the factors that create addiction to alcohol is difficult. While recognizing addiction to alcohol is believed to be simple, there is a great deal of research to determine its addictive properties. Throughout history, there is evidence that abuse of alcohol has been a societal problem dealt