People use drug and alcohol to relax, to reward themselves, or as an escape from reality. When taking drugs becomes a habit, you feel as if you can’t have fun or enjoy life without them, and this gradually leads to addiction and substance abuse.

What is an addiction? What can be classified as an addiction?

The term “addiction” has a comprehensive meaning. But generally, it is the repeated use of a substance or the repeated involvement in an activity, despite understanding the harm it causes.

Anything that is repeatedly done up to the point that you ignore all its side effects because it gives you pleasure can be classified as an addiction.

Types of addiction

Addiction can be broken down into three main types:

Addiction of Substance

This type of addiction involves excessive use of a substance which has a very negative effect on the body. Following substances can lead to addiction:

• Alcohol
• Opioids
• Cocaine
• Cannabis
• Amphetamines
• Tobacco
• Prescription Drugs

These are the most dangerous substances out there and are the reason for a significant amount of deaths in a calendar year. According to a report generated by the World Health Organization, the harmful use of alcohol results in 3.3 million deaths each year.

Another report states that about 275 million people worldwide have used drugs at least once in their lifetime. Out of those 275 million, 30 million suffered from opioids disorder, and roughly 450,000 people died as a result of drug overuse.

Out of the 11 million people who inject drugs, 1.3 million are living with HIV, 5.5 million with hepatitis C, and 1 million suffering from both.

In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug abuse with opioids, narcotics, and amphetamines being the most abused drugs. With so many substances you can get addicted to, there are different types of treatment for addiction each specially designed to help you get through the withdrawal process.

Impulse Control Disorders

This is a type of addiction where an impulse can’t be controlled. You make a habit out of something you enjoy doing, and it ultimately starts affecting you and the people around you. Impulse control disorders can be classified into:

• Explosive disorder (irresistible aggressive and assaultive acts)
• Pathological Gambling
• Kleptomania (stealing madness)
• Pyromania (fire madness)
• Trichotillomania (hair-pulling madness)

People who have impulse control disorders can’t avoid doing these things. Typically, they feel some anxiety before committing an act, and it builds up a lot of pressure. After completing the act, they feel relief or happiness, and so they keep doing it.

A lot of other addictions like the internet, computer games, and compulsive sexuality are also being categorized as impulse control disorders.

Behavioral Addiction

The third type of addiction is related to a person’s behavior. The following behaviors are noted to be addictive:

• Eating
• Sex
• Watching pornography
• Masturbation
• Using the internet
• Playing video games
• Exercising
• Pain
• Shopping

Behavioral addiction is most common in children and teenagers due to lack of attention or inability to maintain an interpersonal relationship with peers.

Causes of addiction?

The most common type of addiction - the addiction of substance – occurs because these substances interact with your mind and causing the brain to become dependent on them. Other addictions like behavioral and control disorders produce a feeling of relaxation, which motivates a person to repeat these behaviors and regain positive feelings.

With so many addictions, each having harmful effects on a person’s life and life or people around him, it is vital to get some professional help to live a happier life.

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