The Two Types Of Addiction You Should Know About
There are two types of addiction: physical and behavioural. More often than not, these two types go hand in hand. While most people may already recognize cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption as two of the main addictions, very few of them actually know that there are dozens of medically recognized addictions.
Whenever we have to deal with cravings, dysfunctions, and compulsions, we can suspect the existence of some kind of addiction. People can get addicted to behaviours, as well, not only to substances such as tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.
Both types of addiction generate behaviours that can lead to a wide array of problems. Such problems include health troubles occurring as a result of substance abuse, financial consequences of gambling addictions or compulsive shopping, or even unhealthy sexual behaviour.
Addiction is a tricky illness. The type of addiction matters less than the actual cause that makes the sufferer actively seek the pleasurable feeling while ignoring the negative consequences.
Such negative consequences may include social and family conflict, relationship troubles, financial problems, and a wealth of overwhelming negative feelings in regard to the impossibility to stop the destructive behaviour. If you or someone you know suffering from an addiction then see ‘addiction counselling‘.
Physical addictions are among the most popular types and they include addictions to various substances such as alcohol, tobacco, hallucinogens, opium, marijuana, cocaine, pain killers, amphetamines, and various inhalants, among many others.
There are three main groups of physical addictions: alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription medicines.
If you ask people about the most known addictions, most of them would probably nominate alcohol as being the most widespread one. Alcohol addiction includes alcohol dependency, as well as daily heavy drinking and binge drinking. Most of the time, it starts with social drinking and slowly evolves to a point where the subject finds it impossible to stop drinking.
Drug addiction is the addiction to illegal substances that interfere with the perception of reality, tweaking and twisting it until the subject’s brain suffers long-term alterations. Drug addiction may also have health consequences that involve one or multiple bodily organs.
Prescription medicine addiction refers to the use of prescription drugs in a way that’s not being prescribed by a physician. This is one of the biggest plagues of our modern world.
The loss of control of one’s actions that results in engaging in happiness-inducing behaviours represents a behavioural addiction. The subject becomes dependent on these pleasurable feelings induced by that specific behaviour, and therefore finds it impossible to stop.
Among the most common behavioural addictions, there are food, sex, pornography, video games, work, exercise, gambling, smartphone use, food, cutting, compulsive shopping, pain seeking, and spiritual obsession.
People suffering from an impulse control disorder may develop compulsive behaviours that could lead to severe addictions. Also, people suffering from mental disorders are prone to developing behavioural addictions.
There’s a tight connection between behavioural and physical addictions. More than 50 per cent of substance addicts are also using other substances. Furthermore, people struggling with substance abuse often suffer from various behavioural addictions.
Substance addiction and behavioural addiction have lots of things in common. One of the most important similarities is the “high” feeling or the excitement resulting from repeating use or behaviour. In addition to craving this feeling, these patients develop tolerance and therefore feel the urge to increase consumption or repeated behaviour. When trying to stop, almost all of them experience physical withdrawal symptoms and a loss of control that leads to a worsening of their situation.