What is Addiction?
Addiction is a condition where an individual continuously repeats a behavior despite the risk of adverse consequences. Addiction can be related to a particular substance (e.g. alcohol) or an activity (e.g. gambling). Individuals have no control over this compulsive behavior. Left untreated, addiction can strain relationships, cause health problems and otherwise interfere with daily life.
What Are the Most Common Types of Addiction?
Addiction comes in many forms. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common addictions that affect individuals.
Drug Addiction: Drug addiction refers to dependency on a prescription medication or illicit substance. As drug use continues, one’s body requires more of it to achieve the desired effect. In turn, an individual may find that they need the drug just to function properly. Some symptoms of drug addiction include the urge to use it regularly, doing uncharacteristic things to get the drug, and focusing more and more time and effort on obtaining it.
Alcohol Addiction: Similar to drug addiction, alcohol addiction is characterized by a dependency on a substance. In this case, it’s alcohol. An individual may find him or herself unable to quit drinking or drinking more to get the same effect. Eventually, uncontrolled alcohol intake can lead to major health problems like cirrhosis. Some symptoms of alcohol addiction include drinking in the morning, blacking out regularly, and feeling guilty about your drinking.
Gambling Addiction: Unlike drug and alcohol addictions, gambling addiction doesn’t revolve around a substance but rather an activity. The uncontrollable urges to keep gambling –win or lose –can lead to many of the same consequences seen in other forms of addiction. Gambling addicts may find themselves accumulating debt, lying about their behavior or taking bigger gambling risks in order to get that thrilling feeling of euphoria.
Food Addiction: Eating sugary, fatty foods has been shown to produce the same pleasurable effects in the brain as those produced by drug and alcohol use. Individuals addicted to food may find themselves eating to excess regularly, even to the point of becoming ill. Unsurprisingly, food addiction can lead to obesity and related health concerns. Symptoms of food addiction include continuing to eat certain foods despite satiety, going out of your way to obtain certain foods, and hiding your eating disorder habits from others.