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young woman staring out cafe window curious about different types of addiction

There are two broad types of addiction. These are substance addiction and process addiction, also known as behavioral addiction. Research has shown a surprising amount of similarities between the two along with positive responses to addiction treatment.

Similarities Between Types of Addiction

There are some common indications of addiction that apply to substance addiction and behavioral addiction. Addiction causes you to keep engaging in the substance or behavior despite negative consequences. You find yourself thinking about the addiction. You may find it hard to concentrate on things that aren’t related to your addiction and lose interest in things you used to enjoy. You’ll also experience problems in your relationships.

Both types of addiction also cause changes in your brain’s reward system. When we do something that feels good, our brains release chemicals that make us feel good, called endorphins. Drugs are often addictive because they cause the brain to release large amounts of these chemicals. Similarly, behavior addictions also cause the brain to release high levels of endorphins.

Types of Addiction With Substance Abuse

There are two components of substance addiction. These are physical dependence and psychological dependence. Physical dependence refers to the body’s dependence on the drug. When stopping drug use, you will experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance is also a sign of physical addiction. As you use the drug over time, it will take more of the drug to have the same effect.

Gain control with safe drug detox programs in Louisiana to decrease tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological dependence means an addiction to the way a substance makes you feel. Substances are often used as a way to cope with problems or negative feelings, which is another aspect of psychological dependence. Intense cravings or inability to function or feel normal without the substance is common with psychological addiction.

Some symptoms of psychological dependence are related to the physical changes that occur in the brain during addiction. This makes it impossible to separate psychological and physical dependence completely. The two are inter-related.

Dependence vs. Addiction

Physical dependence isn’t always a sign of addiction. Those prescribed prescription medications may experience withdrawal if they stop the drug. Those who drink caffeine on a regular basis¬†become physically dependent, and experience withdrawal symptoms if they discontinue caffeine. However, if physical dependence is accompanied by other signs, like psychological dependence, you are addicted to the drug. If you use the drug in ways other than prescribed, or if it’s having a negative impact on your life, these are also signs of addiction.

Common types of substance addiction:

  • Alcohol
  • Opiates (hydrocodone, morphine, heroin)
  • Stimulants (methamphetamine, cocaine, Adderall)
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin)
  • Hallucinogens (PCP, MDMA)
  • Marijuana

It’s important to note that other substances can be addictive as well. Many doctor prescribed and over the counter medications have some addiction potential. Consider attending a prescription drug rehab program if you misuse prescription drugs.

Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral addiction is similar to psychological dependence. However, this is an addiction to a particular behavior. The behavior gives you an enjoyable feeling, similar to the high experienced from substances. You become addicted to this feeling. It’s possible to become addicted to any type of behavior that you find enjoyable, but some behaviors are commonly seen in behavioral addiction over others.

Common types of behavioral addiction:

  • Sex
  • Pornography
  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Technology (internet, video games)

Sometimes behavioral addictions seem to overlap, but one is usually the driving force. Online gambling, for example, can be considered an addiction to technology and gambling, but gambling is likely the driving factor. If you or your loved one is unsure what type of addiction they suffer from, Palmetto Recovery offers a 3-day evaluation to start your addiction treatment off right.

Palmetto Recovery Treats Many Types of Addiction

None of these types of addiction are mutually exclusive. You may be addicted to more than one substance, called polysubstance abuse. You may have both a substance and behavioral addiction.¬†It’s important to recognize any substance or behavior that you can’t control or is causing you negative consequences, and seek help. At Palmetto Recovery Center, we are experienced in treating different types of addiction. If you are struggling with addiction, contact us at 318.728.2970.