Addictive disorders refer to a group of disorders that involve excessive use of substances or an excessive indulgence in a habit. Many people think of drugs or alcohol when they hear the word “addiction,” but although they’re the most commonly abused substances, they aren’t the only things that lead people to addiction. 

There are hundreds of types of medically and scientifically recognized addictions, all of which can be just as serious as a drug or alcohol addiction. Despite negative consequences, the desire to experience a “high” is so strong for many people that they lose control of the activity no matter what it is. Many of these consequences can last a lifetime.

Types of Addictive Disorders

For the most part, addictions can be defined as physical or behavioral. Below are some of the most common addictions:

#1. Drugs and Alcohol Addiction

As previously mentioned, substance abuse is the most common addiction. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about four percent of Americans met the criteria for substance use disorder in the past year. About 10% have had substance use disorder at some time in their lives. People with substance use disorder were also more susceptible to a broad range of psychiatric disorders, including mood, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and personality disorders.

#2. Gambling Addiction

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) classifies gambling disorder as an addictive disorder because it most closely resembles drug and alcohol addiction. Gambling disorder tends to run in families, and risk factors include trauma and social inequality. It’s common for symptoms to subside for periods of time. Only one in ten people with this addiction will seek treatment.

#3. Shopping Addiction

A shopping addiction can seem more like an impulse control disorder, especially when it spins out of control. However, just like drug and alcohol addiction, a shopping addiction causes changes in the brain that cause individuals to continue to shop. Shopping addiction affects more women than men and can affect you both financially and personally. Signs of shopping addiction include maxing out credit cards, taking out multiple loans or lines of credit, overcharging debit cards, or having recurring money-related arguments with loved ones.

#4. Food Addiction

Binge-eating is when you eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time with little to no control over how much you’re consuming. The causes of eating disorders and addiction are linked to depression. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases (NIDDK), binge-eating disorders affect 1.25% of adult women and 0.42% of adult men in the United States.

#5. Internet Addiction

In today’s world, we are constantly plugged in, either on our smartphones, laptops, iPads, or other devices. Internet addiction can have negative consequences on work, home, and mental health. Studies show that compulsive Internet use affects six to fourteen percent of users. Can’t stop checking Facebook? Are you excessively playing video games on the Internet? Streaming YouTube videos at all hours of the night? These are all signs of possible Internet addiction.

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#6. Other Behavioral Addictions

Other behavioral addictions include sex, video games, working, exercising, spiritual obsession, seeking pain, and more. Physical addictions are primarily to alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs.

Notice the Warning Signs

The signs and symptoms of addiction can vary with the individual, the type of addiction they’re partaking in, family history, and personal circumstances. Although there are numerous types of addictive disorders, it’s important to notice common patterns. These include: 

  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Talking about quitting but never actually taking steps to do so
  • Breaking the law or missing school or work in order to satisfy cravings
  • Lying about how much you’re indulging in your addiction
  • Continuing despite serious health problems
  • Relationship or social problems
  • Increased tolerance

The main symptom of an addiction is a problematic pattern of use that can lead to distress. Powerful cravings also play a part in characterizing an addiction. 

The sooner an individual recognizes the warning signs of an addictive disorder, the sooner they can receive help at an appropriate facility, such as a center for drug and alcohol treatment. 

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Long-Term Effects

Depending on the type of addiction, you can suffer physically and physiologically. Addiction is typically intertwined with other mental health issues. People who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs) are twice as likely to struggle with mood or anxiety disorders. Addiction can also increase an individual’s risk of developing a mental health disorder — such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, or bipolar disorder — if not already present.

In cases where one is addicted to shopping or gambling, their finances will take a significant hit. As a result, the person’s relationships could crumble if they cannot contribute financially or help support their family. The impact of any type of addiction can have a domino effect that can quickly spiral out of control with very negative consequences. 

Addiction manifests itself differently from person to person. Some addictions may change the body with visibly noticeable side effects, whereas others may affect behavior. The effects of your addiction can follow you long after you take steps to quit. Cravings, compulsion, and the inability to stop are possible indicators of a serious addiction. Overcoming your addictive disorder isn’t just about willpower. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the various long-term effects of drug and alcohol addiction and are prepared to help you develop coping strategies to deal with the daily challenges. We can help you set the right goals and keep you accountable to ensure you’re meeting them every step of the way. We believe that lifelong recovery and sobriety are available to everybody. For more information on how we can help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan at our Hawaii drug and alcohol treatment center, call us today at (866) 390-5070.

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