People are familiar with addiction to drugs and alcohol. These are the first thing people think about, not realizing many types of addiction don’t involve abusing a substance. Addictions can be substance addictions, behavioral addictions, or impulse control disorders. There are some things that all addictions have in common. All involve cravings for the substance or activity, and all target the pleasure-producing areas of the brain. They all show a lack of control over behavior, and there is always some type of withdrawal symptoms when the person quits. Let’s explore the three types of addiction.

Types of Addiction: Substance

These are the types of addictions we most often think about when we talk of addiction. This can be an addiction to drugs, both legal and illegal, alcohol, or even tobacco and caffeine, which are two substances we often exclude from addiction discussions. These types of addiction affect a person physically and emotionally. Many people who experience substance abuse addictions first exhibited behavioral addictions or impulse control issues. They also often exhibit the tendency to be addicted to more than one substance at a time. It is rare to find someone who is addicted to alcohol, for example, that isn’t also addicted to at least tobacco. In some cases, a person will try to leave behind one addiction and end up becoming addicted to something else unless the underlying cause of the addiction is found and treated.

Types of Addiction: Behavioral

These types of addictions are very prevalent, but many people don’t see them as addictive. The behaviors can lead to negative consequences. Yet, the individual won’t stop no matter what they lose, the individual feels lost and may feel anxious when they can’t act on the question, and once they do perform it, they get a feeling of elation that keeps them going until the next craving. Cravings usually coincide with negative feelings that the individual is trying to cope with. Among the most common behavioral addictions are:

  • Eating
  • Sex/Pornography
  • Working
  • Internet/Social Media/Phone
  • Exercising
  • Plastic Surgery/Cutting/Pain seeking

Spiritual obsession can fall into this category as can hoarding of both animals and objects. The list of behavioral types of addiction is virtually endless. Because when a person is unable to stop or control their behavior, it qualifies.

Types of Addiction: Impulse Control Disorders

Impulse control disorders are types of addiction that are often addressed in a mental health setting. These can include such things as:

  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which sees a person having violent outbursts of temper without any provocation
  • Pyromania, which is a fascination with starting fires. Many of those with this addiction will start fires that cause a great deal of damage, and most often, they need to stay somewhere nearby to watch the results.
  • Kleptomania is the sudden, uncontrollable urge to steal an object. The person with this addiction often doesn’t even care about what the object they steal happens to be. They simply want the thrill of getting away with stealing something.
  • Gambling falls under this type of addiction. This can be either in-person or online gambling. No matter how much money the person wins or loses, they just “know” in their minds that the big win is just around the corner and won’t stop until they have lost everything.

Let Westwind Recovery® Help

Many people who have substance abuse issues also have other addictions. At times, quitting one addiction has the person transferring that to a different type of addiction. Westwind Recovery® can help you replace your substance abuse addiction with positive things and not yet another addiction. Contacting us now 855.340.8832 can get you started on a path that is free of all types of addiction. Don’t wait any longer to realize your full potential.