The Different Types of Addiction and How It Affects Us
Addiction is a complex disease that affects millions of people every year. It can be difficult to understand addiction and even harder to overcome, but it is possible with the right information and support. This article will provide an overview of addiction, including what it is, how it develops, and the different types of treatment available.
What is addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because it changes how the brain works. These changes can be long-lasting and lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people with addiction.
How does addiction develop?
People with addiction typically have difficulty stopping their drug use on their own. The disease is often progressive and gets worse over time. Addiction usually starts with experimentation with drugs, followed by more frequent use. As addiction develops, people often become more isolated and may start to neglect other aspects of their lives. Eventually, they may be using drugs to feel normal and may be unable to stop on their own.
What are the different types of addiction?
There are many different types of addiction. These include:
- Alcohol addiction– According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 15 million people aged 12 years old and above in the United States have alcohol use disorder. Not only is alcohol addiction the most common type of addiction, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Alcohol addiction can lead to serious health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, and cancer.
- Drug addiction– Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. It can include addiction to illegal drugs, such as heroin, and prescription drugs, such as opioids.
- Gambling addiction– Gambling addiction is a type of impulse-control disorder. It is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble, even when gambling has negative consequences.
- Sex addiction– Sex addiction is a type of behavioral addiction that is characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviors. Like other types of addiction, it can be difficult to stop on one’s own and lead to harmful consequences.
- Shopping addiction– Shopping addiction is a behavioral addiction characterized by compulsive shopping behaviors. Like other types of addiction, it can be difficult to stop on one’s own and lead to harmful consequences.
How does addiction affect the brain?
The brain is bombarded with chemicals that feel good when someone uses drugs or alcohol or engages in other addictive behaviors. These chemicals override the brain’s normal functioning and produce a “high.” The person feels pleasure, which leads to wanting more of the same behavior. Over time, the brain adjusts to the increased presence of the chemical and becomes less sensitive to it. This is known as tolerance. As tolerance increases, the person needs more of the substance or behavior to get the same “high.” They may also need to use it more often to maintain their high or avoid withdrawal symptoms, which can occur suddenly when drug use is stopped.
How does addiction affect the body?
Addiction can lead to physical changes in the brain and the body. These long-lasting changes can make it difficult for people to control their impulses and behaviors. In addition, chronic drug use can lead to changes in brain structure and function, which can persist even after a person stops using drugs. These changes can affect a person’s ability to make decisions, control emotions, and interact with others.
How does addiction affect mental health?
Addiction can cause or worsen mental health problems. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are common in people with addiction. People with addiction may also have other mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Having a mental health disorder can make it more difficult to manage the symptoms of addiction and can also lead to relapse.
How does addiction affect relationships?
Addiction can damage personal relationships and cause family problems. In addition, it can lead to financial difficulties, job loss, and legal problems. Addiction can also lead to isolation and social withdrawal. These stressors can often trigger a person to start using drugs or alcohol again, leading to relapse.
How does addiction affect society?
Addiction affects not only the person with the addiction but also their family, friends, and community. The cost of addiction is estimated to be more than $700 billion each year in the United States. This includes the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, crime, and treatment. Addiction can also lead to increased child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and homelessness.