What The Different Types Of Addiction Are?

abuse disorder

Addiction is a very complex mental illness that has intrigued doctors and scientists for many years. However, in the last century, we have succeeded in studying these illnesses with more precision. This led to a major shift in how we perceive addiction, now it is seen as a disease that affects people’s brains rather than a choice or personal failing. And due to this shift doctors have now engaged themselves in finding the right treatment for addiction and also dedicated their time to formulating addiction treatment programs at various places like Aspen Ridge Recovery Centers.

Primarily addiction has been classified into two categories – Chemical addiction and behavioural addiction. Let’s understand each of these types of addiction separately. 

Chemical Addiction 

Chemical addiction is the type of addiction that involves addictiveness toward a particular substance. This type of addiction has been classified by the recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as “substance use disorder”. The classification has aided health professionals in classifying chemical addiction as mild, moderate or severe. 


Some common symptoms of chemical addiction are as follows – 

  • Intense craving for anything that blurs the mind and you cannot think of anything else until you consume that substance. 
  • There will be a constant need for a substance in hopes of getting the same experience. 
  • Feeling of uneasiness when not being able to consume the substance. 
  • Using the substance recklessly like while driving or doing work. 
  • Experiencing trouble while managing work or household responsibilities due to excessive substance use. 
  • Strains in relationships with friends and family due to consumption of substances. 
  • Not being able to spend time on activities that you once enjoyed doing. 
  • You are not able to have control over the consumption of the substance. 
  • Experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit the use of the substance. 

Some Commonly Used Substances

Addictive substances that are consumed by a person who is experiencing chemical addiction are as follows – 

  • Nicotine 
  • Alcohol 
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine 
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamines 
  • Opioids (constitutes both Heroin and other painkillers such as Morphine and Oxycodone). 

Behavioural Addiction

Behavioural addiction is often a very debatable category of addiction. A lot of people question whether the behaviour of a person toward a certain activity can be termed addiction. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) recognizes behavioural addiction and categorises it into two major types – addiction to gaming and internet gaming. 

Emotions While Gambling

Moreover, there is also debate around the point in someone’s behaviour which can indicate an addiction or what are the specific behaviours that can take the shape of behavioural addiction. Therefore, one cannot have an official set of rules that can categorise behaviour as addictive. 

Signs Of Behavioral Addiction

Some of the most common signs of behavioural addiction in a person are as follows – 

  • Devoting too much time to one activity. 
  • Even after realising that a particular activity is disrupting their daily routine, they are engaged in them. 
  • Ignoring responsibilities like managing work, family or other obligations to take out some time for a particular activity. 
  • Doing an activity repetitively to cope with unwanted emotional situations. 
  • Trying to avoid a behaviour from people and constantly lying about the same to their close ones. 
  • They find it very difficult to avoid a particular behaviour. 
  • Experiencing restlessness, anxiety, irritability or any form of discomfort when trying to give up a behaviour. 
  • They are forced to continue doing that behaviour even after feeling distressed from it. 

Commonly Seen Behavioral Addictions

Behavioural addiction can be an excess or repetition of any activity. However, medical science sees a repetition of any of the following as a behavioural addiction. 

  • Addiction to shopping
  • Doing too much exercise. 
  • Addiction to eating food
  • Sex addiction
  • Social Media Addiction 
  • Spending too much time watching television

These were the two major types of addiction that are commonly diagnosed by doctors. Both of these categories of addiction can be cured by consulting experts on mental health. However, before signing up for any program such as those at Gratitude Lodge, it is best that you get in touch with a good therapist so that you can better understand your condition and try some self-help methods. On several occasions, therapy and light medications have successfully treated most of these addictions if it is moderate.