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20 Different addiction types: from drug addiction to porn addiction

Reading time: 15 mins
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The term addiction type refers to different forms of addiction and addictive behaviors. The main types of addiction include:

  • Physical addiction: addiction to addictive substances such as nicotine, cocaine, alcohol, opioids, etc.
  • Behavioral addiction: a compulsive need to engage in certain behaviors such as sex, pornography watching, work, exercise, eating junk food
  • Impulse control disorders: inability to control emotions and urges that may affect other people’s wellbeing, e.g. pyromania, kleptomania

The most common addiction types are substance use disorders, especially alcohol. According to the WHO, three million deaths occur worldwide due to the harmful use of alcohol. While any type of addiction is associated with certain dangers, physical addictions induce the most harm to a person’s wellbeing.

Addictions are indicated by a consistent urge to repeat certain behaviors or use specific substances regardless of the harms they cause. People with addiction often spend a lot of money and time supporting their problems. Treatment usually includes therapy and other approaches such as detox, depending on the type of addiction.

What are Physical addictions?

Physical addictions are disorders indicated by chronic or persistent use of tolerance-forming drugs and addictive substances. There are two types of addiction, psychological and physical.

The main types of physical addiction are alcohol addiction, tobacco addiction, opioid addiction, marijuana addiction, and cocaine addiction. Factors that contribute to the development of physical addictions include family history, peer pressure, mental health problems, imbalances in neurotransmitters, and attempts to increase productivity or deal with certain emotions.

The main treatment methods for physical addictions are counseling and detox.

woman in a black hat smocking cigarette

1. Alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction is a strong urge or craving to keep drinking alcohol even when it causes various consequences on a person’s health and quality of life. When alcohol addicts try to stop drinking alcohol, withdrawal symptoms occur.

Alcohol addiction is also indicated by symptoms such as drinking secretly, inability to limit alcohol intake, losing interest in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy, storing alcohol around your home, experiencing problems in relationships or at work due to alcohol.

Reasons behind alcohol addiction range from easy access to peer pressure, low self-esteem, stress, depression, media, and advertising. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs in rehab centers are available for alcohol addiction.

Similar to other types of drugs addiction, alcohol addiction treatment can include therapy (individual, family, group) and participation in support groups, and a 12-step prog

2. Tobacco addiction

Tobacco addiction is a disorder characterized by withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using nicotine, the main chemical in tobacco. A person with tobacco addiction can’t stop smoking despite the problems it causes, and they may give up social activities in favor of tobacco use.

People start using tobacco usually at a young age due to peer pressure. Various events or scenarios may trigger the urge to smoke, such as drinking alcohol, talking on the phone, drinking coffee, just to name a few. Genetics, the presence of other mental illnesses, and types of drug addiction can contribute to the development of tobacco addiction.

The main courses of treatment for tobacco addiction are counseling and nicotine replacement therapy. Treatment centers are available for this form of addiction.

3. Opioids

Opioid addiction is the compulsive need to use opioids (prescription pain medications) and illicit drugs such as heroin despite the consequences they cause and withdrawal symptoms that occur once a person stops. Symptoms of opioid addiction include the inability to stop, drowsiness, severe cravings, financial difficulties, engaging in risky situations and activities to obtain the drug.

Causes of opioid addiction are a combination of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors. Treatment of opioid addiction can take place in inpatient rehab centers that treat different types of addiction. Outpatient treatment and support groups are also available.

Detox is often the first step, and a person may receive medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. Psychotherapy is also provided.

4. Marijuana addiction

Marijuana addiction is a severe form of marijuana use disorder wherein a person experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using cannabis. Loss of interest in other activities, problems with relationships, work, or school, inability to stop, and increased tolerance are the most significant symptoms of marijuana addiction.

Not every person who uses marijuana will be addicted. Genetics is a risk factor, as well as family history and environmental influences.

Treatment of marijuana addiction is similar to the approach for other substance abuse types and can be performed in inpatient and outpatient programs.

5. Prescription drug addiction

Prescription drug addiction is a type of physical addiction that involves compulsive use and misuse of prescription medication, usually medication for pain management and treatment of mental health problems.

A person with prescription drug addiction experiences withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking those medications. When it comes to all types of addiction Quizlet, prescription drug addiction includes misuse and abuse of opioids, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.

Prescription drugs addiction symptoms include stealing, forging prescriptions, taking higher doses than recommended, hostility and mood swings, asking more than one doctor to give you prescriptions. Reasons behind this addiction are to experience the “high” effect, relax, alleviate tension, or be accepted by a social circle. Some people take them to be more productive.

Treatment centers or rehabs are available for this type of addiction. Treatment includes detox and counseling.

6. Inhalants addiction

Inhalants Addiction is the intentional inhalation of vapors by sniffing from chemical products with the purpose of becoming intoxicated or achieving a “high” effect.

Some inhalants are nail polish remover, paint thinner, glue, hair spray, gasoline, nitrites, among others. Symptoms of addiction to inhalants are using these products for purposes they weren’t created for, unsuccessful attempts to stop, spending excessive amounts of time on using inhalants.

Common risk factors for inhalant addiction include a family history of substance abuse, personal history of mental illness or substance abuse, involvement with gangs.

Types of inhalant addiction treatment, in this case, include detox, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient programs.

7. PCP addiction

PCP addiction is an addiction to a mind-altering hallucinogen called phencyclidine. A person with PCP addiction needs to use the drug regularly, and takes more and more to achieve the same effect.

Other symptoms of PCP addiction include spending a lot of money just to obtain the drug, stealing, neglecting other aspects of life, and the inability to stop using the drug. Reasons for PCP addiction range from environmental influences and life stressors to imbalances in brain chemicals and family history.

A person with PCP addiction can receive treatment in inpatient and outpatient programs, depending on the severity of the addiction. While there are two types of addiction, psychological and physical, PCP addiction treatment, like many others, revolves around individual or group counseling sessions.

8. Amphetamine addiction

Amphetamine addiction is the compulsive use of highly addictive stimulant amphetamine and the presence of withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. A person with amphetamine addiction misuses prescriptions and may resort to risky activities to obtain the drug.

Symptoms of amphetamine addiction include extreme mood changes, malnutrition, craving amphetamine, developing tolerance to the drug, wanting to stop but failing. One of the reasons behind amphetamine addiction is the misuse of prescriptions.

Others include underlying mental health problems. Inpatient and outpatient programs in treatment centers are available for amphetamine addiction. Therapy works for this like for all types of addiction. A detox may also be necessary under medical supervision.

9. Cocaine type of addiction

Cocaine addiction is a type of disorder indicated by the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of cocaine use. A person with cocaine addiction experiences symptoms such as increased agitation, disinhibition, effusive enthusiasm, hyperactivity, muscle tics, and changes in focus and concentration.

Social pressure, mental illness, and genetics are among the reasons people use cocaine and develop an addiction. Treatment of cocaine addiction is possible; many inpatient and outpatient treatment centers and programs are available.

The most common approach is through behavioral therapies and counseling, like with many other disorders on this type of addiction list.

10. Hallucinogens type of addiction

Hallucinogens addiction is a type of substance addiction that revolves around compulsive use of hallucinogens, drugs that alter an individual’s awareness of the surrounding, thoughts, and feelings.

The first necessary is to learn what are two types of addiction to hallucinogens. These are addictions to classic and dissociative hallucinogens. Symptoms of addiction to hallucinogens are increased heart rate, intensified feeling and sensory experiences, high blood pressure, rapid breathing, paranoia, psychosis, bizarre behaviors, just to name a few.

People often try hallucinogens out of curiosity. Others do due to mental health problems or other forms of addiction.

Behavioral therapies are, so far, considered the most helpful approach. Persons with hallucinogen addiction can receive help in rehab centers, in inpatient or outpatient programs.

11. Methamphetamine addiction

Methamphetamine addiction is a type of addiction where a person uses methamphetamine by smoking, snorting, swallowing a pill, or injecting the powder dissolved in alcohol or water.

Addiction to this highly potent drug can cause increased wakefulness, faster breathing, decreased appetite, high blood pressure, extreme weight loss, severe dental problems, memory loss, and other symptoms. Causes of methamphetamine addiction are considered to be genetic, environmental, physical, and others.

A person may decide to start using meth because it is easily available or to deal with mental health problems. Some people take it because they socialize with persons who do. Treatment of methamphetamine addiction is administered in a wide range of rehab centers.

The most effective treatments are behavioral therapies like CBT and motivational incentives.

What are Behavioral addictions?

Behavioral addictions are non-substance addictions indicated by a compulsive need to engage in certain behaviors despite the harmful consequences they cause. The main types of behavioral addiction are sex addiction, food addiction, porn addiction, work addiction, and exercise addiction. These addictions often stem from underlying mental health disorders, life stresses, and changes in the brain. According to a paper from the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, persons with behavioral addictions may have other one or two types of addiction too. The main treatment method is psychotherapy. Many behavioral addiction disorders can be treated in treatment centers or rehabs.

Tired woman at a desk

1. Sex addiction

Sex addiction is a compulsive need to participate in sexual activity to achieve a kind of “fix” that a person with substance abuse gets from consuming a certain drug or alcohol.

Symptoms of sex addiction include chronic/obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies, lying to cover behaviors, preoccupation with having sex, feeling guilt or remorse after sex, and engaging in risky sexual behaviors.

Reasons for sex addiction are tricky to pinpoint but could be ease of access to sexual content, imbalance of brain chemicals, and changes in pathways in the brain. Sex addiction is treated in treatment centers and rehabs. The most common approach is psychotherapy, like in many types of drug addiction treatment. Support groups are also available.

2. Food addiction

Food addiction is a form of behavioral addiction wherein a person has intense cravings and difficult-to-control urges to eat food, usually processed junk food.

A person with food addiction has an intense and frequent need to eat certain foods despite feeling full. Other symptoms are repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempting to stop eating those foods, often feeling guilty, and feeling unable to stop.

Emotional problems, stress, genetics, trauma, and brain chemistry all play a role in the development of food addiction. Treatment for food addiction requires counseling and therapy, which also includes one of the most common types of addiction therapy – CBT.

Various treatment centers provide help to persons with this problem.

3. Pornography addiction

Pornography addiction is a type of addiction characterized by compulsive use of pornographic material despite the harmful effects it has on a person’s life. Like types of sexual addiction, porn addiction is a disorder a person wants to stop but is unable to do so.

Other symptoms of pornography addiction include ignoring responsibilities in favor of pornography, gradually moving to more extreme porn content, feeling frustrated and ashamed but still continuing with watching porn.

Reasons for porn addiction include underlying mental health conditions, relationship issues, unhealthy cultural norms, and biological factors. Treatment may include a combination of psychotherapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes.

Treatment centers and rehabs may also offer services and help to persons with porn addiction.

4. Exercising addiction

Exercising addiction is a behavioral addiction indicated by a compulsive need to engage in any type of physical exercise despite harmful consequences.

Common symptoms of exercise addiction include experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not working out, uncontrollable desire to exercise, reducing other activities in favor of exercise, and difficulty reducing workout routine. People may develop exercise addiction due to constant pressure to stay in shape.

Many persons with exercise addiction also have a sex addiction, shopping addiction, or substance addiction. One of the most common types of therapy for addiction, CBT can work for this disorder too.

Various inpatient and outpatient programs are available for persons with exercise addiction.

5. Working addiction

Working addiction is the inability to stop working. Symptoms of work addiction include spending a lot of hours on work even if that’s not necessary, losing sleep due to work, being obsessed with work success, fear of failure at work, and using work to avoid relationships and other aspects of life.

Reasons behind work addiction are low self-esteem, anxiety, and underlying psychological needs. A person with work addiction doesn’t need the same types of treatment for drug addiction.

Some inpatient and outpatient rehabs help persons with work addiction manage their problem through therapy and, if necessary, medications. Support groups are also available.

6. Spiritual obsession type of addiction

Spiritual obsession addiction, or religious addiction, is a disorder wherein a person has the compulsive urge to practice religion and keeps thinking about religion while neglecting other aspects of life.

A person with this disorder may feel guilt or shame when not engaging in religious activity. It’s not known what causes spiritual obsession addiction, but it could be a combination of environmental factors and mental health problems.

The best approach to this and other types of behavioral addiction is through therapy. At this point, no specific rehab centers focus on the treatment of this addiction.

7. Cutting addiction

Cutting addiction is a form of disorder where a person hurts themselves to deal with distress and other emotions. A person with cutting addiction is often unable to process their emotions and feelings without cutting themselves.

Symptoms include multiple unexplained cuts, bloodstains on clothes, owning cutting instruments, covering up (even in summer), isolation, and frequent accidents. Reasons behind cutting addiction include mental disorders, substance abuse, socializing with persons who cut themselves, and life trauma.

Various rehab and treatment centers are available to help persons with cutting addiction through therapy sessions.

8. Shopping addiction

Shopping addiction is an inability to control the urge to shop constantly. A person with shopping addiction has an intense craving to spend, and the only way for them to relieve tension, anxiety, or experience arousal is when they make a purchase.

How many addiction types are there is difficult to tell, but what they have in common with a shopping addiction is that they affect a person’s quality of life. Shopping addiction can cause serious problems, especially with finances.

This type of addiction stems from deeper emotional issues and mental health conditions. Shopping addiction treatment requires therapy, but there are also 12-step programs and support groups for shopping addiction.

9. Playing video games type of addiction

Video game addiction or gaming disorder is a disorder indicated by a compulsive need to play video games even when they take a toll on a person’s life. Interestingly, the WHO added gaming disorder to their medical reference book, but the American Psychiatry Association didn’t include it in the addiction types list.

A person with this addiction experiences restlessness or irritability when unable to play video games. They also tend to lie to their friends or family about the amount of time they spend playing. Persons with video games addiction tend to think about video games even when doing something else.

Video games are designed to be addictive to begin with, but overexposure can influence dopamine levels and make a person keep playing to experience the pleasurable effects.

The most common treatment method for video game addiction is CBT therapy. It can be treated in inpatient and outpatient treatment centers that provide their services to persons with video game addiction too.

What are the Impulse control disorders?

Impulse control disorders are conditions wherein a person experiences difficulties controlling their behavior or emotions. Similar to types of food addiction, the person with this disorder can’t stop repeating certain actions and behaviors. The main types of impulse control disorders are intermittent explosive disorder, kleptomania, gambling, and pyromania. The exact cause of these disorders is unclear, but several factors could play a role, such as physical, biological, and environmental influences, according to a study from the Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. The primary treatment approach for impulse control disorders is therapy, usually CBT.

man in suit in a fighting position

1. Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The intermittent explosive disorder is a mental disorder indicated by sudden, repeated episodes of aggressive, violent, and impulsive behavior. Here, a person may resort to physical abuse, verbal aggression and react in a way that isn’t proportional to the situation.

Symptoms include rage, irritability, higher energy, tremors, palpitations, racing thoughts, among others. The disorder can begin in childhood or adolescence. Environmental and genetic factors are involved.

History of physical abuse and mental health disorders is a risk factor for this disorder. If you look up what are the different types of addiction, you can notice these factors are common in most of them.

Treatment of intermittent explosive disorder includes psychotherapy, but some patients may get antidepressants too. Behavioral health hospitals can aid treatment of this disorder.

2. Kleptomania

Kleptomania is defined as a recurrent inability to stop stealing items, usually for reasons other than financial gain or personal use.

Symptoms of kleptomania include increased tension, anxiety, and arousal that lead to the theft. Some people feel guilty afterward, but they can’t stop taking items that don’t belong to them.

Just like persons with types of social media addiction that can’t stop using social media although they feel guilty. Causes of kleptomania may include problems with neurotransmitter serotonin and imbalances in dopamine and the opioid system.

Family history and the presence of another mental illness are risk factors for kleptomania. Psychotherapy is the main course of kleptomania treatment. Some persons may get a prescription for antidepressants or other medications if they have an underlying mental health problem. There are treatment centers and rehabs that treat kleptomania too.

3. Gambling

Gambling addiction is an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the consequences it causes. A person with this problem is preoccupied with gambling, often takes money from others to support their behavior, and tries to stop unsuccessfully.

Other symptoms of types of gambling addiction are using gambling to escape problems in life or feeling happy and chasing losses (trying to get back money lost by gambling).
A combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors is behind gambling addiction.

Compulsive gambling is also associated with mental health problems such as ADHD and OCD, but also with depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and substance abuse.

The main course of gambling addiction treatment is therapy. Fortunately, many addiction treatment centers and rehabs are available to help persons with gambling addiction.

4. Pyromania

Pyromania is a form of impulse control disorder indicated by a person’s inability to resist starting fires.

While persons with pyromania are aware of the dangers of setting the fire, the only way for them to relieve arousal, anxiety, or tension is to go forward and do it.

People with pyromania generally start fires every six weeks. The symptoms usually begin in puberty and revolve around the urge to start fires, and attraction, fascination, and tension when it comes to fire.

Someone with pyromania often feels guilty after they set the fire but is unable to stop. The exact cause of pyromania is unknown but could be down to an imbalance of brain chemicals. Genetics and life stressors could also be factors here.

When left untreated, pyromania can be a chronic problem. Treatment for pyromania usually involves different types of therapy (CBT, aversion therapy), but medications may also be necessary.

These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotics, lithium, among others. At this point, there aren’t treatment centers and rehabs that focus primarily on pyromania but may provide treatment to persons who have other mental health disorders too.

How does addiction treatment change based on addiction type?

Addiction treatment changes based on addiction type due to the fact that every disorder may have a different impact on a person. The nature of the addictive agent is different, so the treatment varies as well.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the main principles of addiction treatment is that no single approach is appropriate for everyone. The exact treatment varies depending on the addiction type and other characteristics that are specific for each patient.

For instance, sexual addiction behavior types require a great deal of counseling. On the other hand, substance addiction treatment may also include, in addition to counseling, detox stage, and medications to manage withdrawal symptoms.

How to understand which addiction type you have? list

How to understand which addiction type you have?

In order to understand which type of addiction you have, it is necessary to focus on your behavior and the compulsions you may have. In the same way, there are 3 types of love addiction; there are different forms of substance or behavioral addictions. Many people don’t assume they have a problem, so it’s difficult for them to determine whether there could be a presence of some addiction. In order to determine which addiction type you have, it’s necessary to:

  • Take some time to think about your behavior or potential cravings
  • Determine whether you compulsively use a certain substance
  • Think about what happens when you stop using some substance or engaging in certain actions, do withdrawal symptoms occur and cravings intensify
  • Get informed about different types of addictions
  • Consult your healthcare provider
  • Reach out to addiction treatment centers and schedule an appointment with professionals who can help you understand whether you have some form of addiction or not

Do addiction symptoms change based on addiction type?

Addiction symptoms do change based on the addiction type. An important thing to mention is that addiction can manifest itself differently in each individual. Signs of addiction are generally based on the substance or behavior to which a person is addicted. For example, physical addiction doesn’t exhibit the same symptoms as a behavioral addiction.

Even though there are some similarities, the reality is that substance or drug addiction types carry along a unique set of risks that aren’t observed in behavioral addictions. These risks are determined by the way the specific substance affects a person’s health. The substances affect both the brain and the body.

For instance, all types of addictions have a lot to do with the dopamine and reward system in the brain. But they also have some mechanisms that are unique to a specific substance or agent. For example, opioids act on opioid receptors, downregulate them, and a person needs more opioids to achieve the same effects. This paves the way to addiction and its symptoms. Cocaine can act on brain cells and influence gene expression. All these specific effects lead to symptoms that are unique to that specific addiction.

Which addiction type is more dangerous for financial wellbeing?

The type of addiction regarded as more dangerous for financial wellbeing is a physical addiction. Financial wellbeing is the state of being able to meet current and ongoing financial obligations and to have a sense of security due to having enough money to meet your needs.

Physical addictions involve various substances that a person needs to purchase. The higher doses or amounts they need, the more finances they spend to get them. As a result, their financial stability suffers a major decline.

Other types of addictions, such as gambling, can also lead to financial distress.

Which addiction type is more dangerous for physical wellbeing?

The addiction type considered more dangerous for physical wellbeing is a physical addiction. The term physical wellbeing refers to a person’s ability to maintain a healthy quality of life. It is not just about being without disease but also includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Physical addictions, mainly substance disorders, do a lot worse than allowing a person to experience thrill, pain relief, or other effects. They change the way the body functions and cause a wide range of complications. For that reason, a person with substance addiction experiences changes in appearance (pale skin, tired look, weight gain/loss, etc.), and the function of their organs is also affected.

A person with physical addiction is less likely to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and make other healthy lifestyle choices. While any type of addiction can make a person forego their quality of life, physical addictions have more pronounced effects.

Which addiction type is more dangerous for psychological wellbeing?

The addiction type that is more dangerous for psychological wellbeing is physical addiction or substance abuse. The term psychological wellbeing describes a person’s emotional health and overall functioning. The areas of psychological wellbeing involve autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, purpose in life, positive relations with others, and self-acceptance.

Generally speaking, any type of addiction affects a person’s psychological wellbeing. However, physical addictions are more severe in this aspect. Not only can they worsen the existing mental health problems, but they also induce new symptoms.

Impulse control disorders are also detrimental to an individual’s psychological health and wellbeing. A person with one of these disorders is unable to control their emotional response or certain behaviors, both of which are aspects of psychological wellbeing.

Which addiction type is more dangerous for social wellbeing?

Addiction type that is more dangerous for social wellbeing is an impulse control disorder. Social wellbeing refers to a person’s ability to develop and maintain positive interactions with other people.

While every type of addiction can affect a person’s relationship with others, impulse control disorders are more dangerous in this aspect. These forms of addiction usually endanger the rights and wellbeing of others.

For example, a person with pyromania can’t resist the urge to start fires which puts people’s lives at risk and also induce significant material damage. Someone with kleptomania doesn’t just take items from grocery stores and other places; they may also steal from friends, family, coworkers. Additionally, a person with a gambling addiction may constantly borrow money from friends and family or take their belongings and sell them just to continue gambling.

All these actions have a significant impact on a person’s social well-being as they deeply hurt those around them.