Addiction is not a single problem. Instead, it is a multifaceted disease that varies depending on what substance you take and the effects it has on your body. Therefore, you must understand the types of addiction and how they affect you. Doing so can help make your care and recovery more comfortable. It can also help you better understand the dangers of long-term addiction.
Different Levels of Addiction
Before discussing the different types of addiction, it is wise to talk about the levels of substance abuse. That’s because people often go through phases that influence the direction of their addiction. The most common phases of addiction include:
- Experimentation – During the first stage, you typically only use drugs sporadically and may never use them again
- Regular use – Here, you have established a pattern of behavior, such as drinking on the weekends
- Risky abuse – Now, you take substances more often and engage in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated
- Dependency – At this point, you likely abuse drugs every day and have a physical addiction to these substances
- Substance abuse disorder – The highest level of addiction occurs when you become both physically and emotionally dependent
All the dependencies discussed below progress through these stages. Thankfully, high-quality drug rehab can help you curtail these behaviors before they get out of control.
According to SAMHSA, alcohol was the most commonly used substance in the United States in 2018. Many people drinking alcohol don’t realize danger is present. Alcohol is both very addictive and legal to use. The social acceptance of alcohol use means that millions of people drink every day. And many of these individuals cannot quit drinking due to addiction. Even worse, alcohol withdrawal is among the worst types and triggers dangerous side effects like delirium tremens.
These side effects, along with the social nature of drinking, makes alcohol a tough substance to quit. For example, a large number of social events may center around alcohol use. The same problem is not as present with drugs like heroin or cocaine. As a result, you must use sustained rehab efforts to keep you safe if you need to quit drinking.
Opiate abuse triggers one of the most troubling types of addiction. That’s because opioids trigger a rush of endorphin chemicals that activate receptors in your mind. These opioid receptors get flushed with these chemicals and experience an intense high. This feeling may be very pleasurable but can quickly become a problem because your body will get addicted to this high level of endorphin flow.
And withdrawal from opiates can trigger problems such as hallucinations, heart damage, nausea, vomiting, and even delirium tremens. As a result, many people continue to abuse opiates to avoid these issues. Unfortunately, even prescription opioids can trigger this reaction.
People often abuse stimulants for different reasons than opiates. For example, those who need to stay up late to study may abuse stimulants for extra energy. Those traveling a long distance may abuse them to stay awake as they drive. Unfortunately, both stimulants and opiates cause very potent types of addiction. And stimulant addiction can be both a physical and emotional problem.
Physically, your body will become reliant on the rush of energy these drugs provide. And your mind may become depressed when it only has access to lower levels of endorphin chemicals. Emotionally, people may feel their “down” moments more heavily and experience less pleasure in life when not using their stimulants.
Avoid These Types of Addiction
If you want to stay clean and healthy for life, please contact us at Northern Illinois Recovery. Call 855.786.1978 to learn more about the care options we provide, such as dual-diagnosis and group therapy. Our caring specialists can also help you better understand your abuse triggers and how to avoid them. So please verify your insurance to get started on the path of addiction recovery.