The 3 Different Types of Addiction

The 3 different types of addiction.

Addiction is all around us. Some addictions are easier to spot, such as the destructive aftermath of a drug addiction. Other addictions can be hiding in plain sight, a secret burden that must be carried. In general there are three different categories that are used to classify the litany of different addictions, but first, it is important to understand the definition of addiction.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a brain disease that creates a compulsive need to use substances or participate in activities that can have harmful and dangerous consequences. The needs of an addiction can take over every other facet of an individual's life, as they are utterly consumed in the pursuit of their addiction.

The 3 Different Types of Addiction

While there are thousands of different kinds of addiction, most of them fit neatly into one of three categories. The categories are substance addictions, impulse control disorders, and behavioral addictions. There is some overlap between the three categories, but they are still a useful way to classify types of addiction.

Substance Addictions

Substance addiction is the type that immediately comes to mind when most people think of addiction. This is classified by individuals building a dependence on a substance in order to live their everyday life. Substance abuse is incredibly dangerous to an individual's mental and physical health, and if not attended to can eventually result in death. Some of the most prominent examples of substance addiction include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines such as methamphetamines
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription drugs, including sedatives, hypnotics, sleeping pills, or tranquilizers
  • Cannabis
  • Hallucinogens
  • Opioids such as heroin
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (aka PCP)
  • Other unspecified substances

Impulse Control Disorders

An impulse control disorder is when an individual is frequently overwhelmed by strong impulses they cannot ignore. These impulses usually have negative consequences on their loved ones, career, and health. However, the impulse and addiction is so powerful that even though they know the results will be bad they continue succumbing to the impulse. Examples of impulse control disorders include:

  • Kleptomania, which is the compulsive need to steal
  • Pyromania, which is the compulsive need to start fires
  • Gambling addiction
  • Intermittent explosive disorder, which is the compulsive need to constantly be aggressive and perform aggressive acts

Behavioral Addictions

Behavioral addiction is a severe mental health condition in which an individual will repeatedly perform a behavior that directly inflicts harm upon themselves. However, they simply cannot resist the behaviors for some ingrained psychological reason. Examples of behavioral addictions include:

  • Eating
  • Sex
  • Pornography
  • Playing video games
  • Using the internet
  • Working
  • Cutting yourself
  • Pain
  • Shopping
  • Exercising

Alcohol Addiction Help in San Diego at The Pearson Center

If you are an addict, the most important thing is to find help. If your vice is alcohol, The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research can help. We offer alcohol addiction clinical trials that can help you stop drinking and get sober. If you are eager to overcome alcohol addiction and get your life back on track, contact The Pearson Center in San Diego today. Give us a call at (858) 784-7867.