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What Are the Different Types of Addiction?

Addiction can affect people’s lives in many ways, and there are even varying types of addiction. Read on to learn more.

What is Addiction?

According to the World Health Organization, about 5.5% of the world’s population between the ages of fifteen and sixty-four have a history of drug abuse, and up to thirty-five million of these people are currently suffering from a substance use disorder. 1

There are many other types of addiction beyond just a substance use disorder, however. While substance use disorder is a type of addiction relating specifically to drug or chemical abuse, addiction as a whole encompasses many more disorders than just drug abuse and addiction. Common behavioral patterns like shopping, gambling, or exercising can be classified as a form of addiction as well. 2

Importance of Recognizing Indications of Addiction

These seemingly harmless behaviors have been observed to exhibit the same or similar behavioral, physical, and mental processes to those associated with substance use disorders and drug-related addictions. Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with any sort of addiction is important in order to get the help you or a loved one may need.

How to Identify An Addiction

Types of addiction

Many forms of addiction are usually characterized by similar physical, behavioral, and psychological patterns regardless of the addiction's specifics. 3

Although each individual's addiction varies, as no two addiction cases or people are the same, some common indicators are generic to all types of addictions, regardless if it’s a substance abuse disorder or something like a video game addiction.

Addictive Behaviors

Examples of addictive behavior symptoms that could indicate the presence of one or more types of addiction include excessive mood swings, lying, social withdrawal, and alterations in weight, energy levels, and sleep patterns. Other examples of addictive behaviors symptoms could also include increased susceptibility to illnesses, increased distraction or inability to focus, and the manifestation of compulsive behaviors.

That being said, it is worth mentioning that since addiction is such a "diverse" or "wide" blanket name, it’s important to be aware of the varying ways that these types of addiction can impact you or your loved one.

Categories of Addiction

Addiction can be divided into two major categories. Even though there are many different types of addiction in general, they all can generally fall under these two categories. These types of addictions are:

Physical Addiction

Physical addiction, also known as chemical addiction, is a type of addiction that involves the use and abuse of different drugs and substances. That is, this type of addiction incorporates all drug addiction types as well as substance use disorders. Physical addiction examples include meth abuse, cocaine abuse, and even opioid abuse (prescription drug or otherwise).

Physical addiction can also encapsulate certain other types of addiction like addiction to food and alcohol.

Behavioral Addiction

This type of addiction encapsulates all compulsive behavior-based types of addictions that people engage in even though they don't yield any "benefits." People with behavioral addictions continue to persistently engage in these repetitive actions, even in the face of undesirable consequences. Behavioral addiction examples could include activities such as gambling and shopping.

Different Types of Physical Addiction

As earlier mentioned, even though these different types of addictions are highly similar in many ways, every addiction case is different. A perfect example of this is what is observed with the different physical types of addictive behaviors. These types of addiction can also be affected by many things, like each person’s genetics and the environment they grew up in.

In each of these types of physical addictions, the specifics of each of these conditions are quite different. Types of addictive drugs implicated in the different types of physical addiction include:

Different Types of Behavioral Addiction

It's also worthy of note that there are also different types of behavioral addictions depending on the particular "object" of addiction. Examples of addictions in the behavioral addiction category can include the following:

  • Food
  • Sex
  • Pornography
  • Internet
  • Working
  • Video games
  • Seeking pain
  • Exercising
  • Cutting
  • Shopping
  • Gambling

Recovery Methods For Different Addictions

Even though most common addiction types have their specifics, they usually have similar recovery processes. However, it is important to note that addiction is usually a chronic condition, and it mostly requires quality, ongoing care to ensure effective recovery. Recovery from addiction starts with individuals recognizing and acknowledging that their particular addiction situation has gone too far and that they need to seek assistance.

Addiction recovery treatment options include the following treatment approaches: 4

Counseling and Behavioral Therapies

Counseling and behavioral therapies are treatment approaches that are usually employed after detoxification has been carried out. Depending on patient needs, counseling and behavioral therapies may be provided in an individual, group, or family setting. Therapy starts vigorously with multiple sessions within the first few weeks or months. However, the intensity usually tapers off over time as the patient’s condition improves.

Rehabilitation Programs

Rehab programs also play an important role in addiction recovery. They help patients focus on maintaining their drug-free and addiction-free status, ensuring that they can resume and function properly in all areas of their lives. Rehab is usually carried out in rehabilitation facilities, and these rehab programs can be either short-term or long-term. There are inpatient and outpatient rehab programs offered at many treatment facilities.


Medications are usually used to manage withdrawal symptoms and improve patient compliance and safety during addiction withdrawal treatment, especially in drug-related addiction cases.

Seek Treatment for Addiction at Genesis Recovery

Are you or a loved one currently dealing with addiction, and are looking for addiction treatment options that can offer you excellent and effective treatment? If you are, then Genesis Recovery is the perfect place for you. Genesis Recovery is a treatment center that specializes in the treatment and management of addiction and several other psychological disorders. 

We have teams of experienced and highly skilled professionals that work to ensure patients always remain safe and can get the kind of quality treatment they deserve. Contact us today so you or your loved one can get the help you need to start recovery.


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