Types of Addiction – Recognizing Them So That You Can Avoid Them (Warning: They’re Elusive)

How do you avoid developing an addiction…or if it’s too late for that and you already believe you’re addicted…how do you beat addiction? Understanding the types of addiction will help you guard against falling prey to it.

There are many types of addiction but they can be easily categorized into just a few major areas. Just about everyone has something they’re addicted to. Wouldn’t you like to keep your addictions to a minimum?

Many types of addiction
There are many types of addiction – substances and behaviors.

Of course, we want to avoid becoming addicted to anything. It can be helpful to start with the definition of addiction. It is commonly accepted in the field that addiction requires that:

  1. Life becomes unmanageable as a result of the addiction
  2. Increasing use does not provide more satisfaction
  3. Attempts to stop are unsuccessful

So, let’s apply this to the types of addiction to see how best to deal with addiction.

Types of Addiction

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is the most commonly recognized type of addiction…but it is far from the most commonly practiced type of addiction. Substance abuse involves consuming illegal drugs, binge drinking, and the like.

Compulsive Behavior

Compulsive behavior can easily escalate to different types of addiction. Addictive behavior typically starts as a compulsive behavior like an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia), sex (masturbation, pornography, affairs), or even self-harm like cutting.

Socially Acceptable/Legal Activities

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Most types of addiction fly under the radar because they’re socially acceptable and legal. Remember, the definition of addiction requires that life has become unmanageable.

If you&’re working so much that you have no time for your personal relationships or to take care of yourself, it’s likely that you’re addicted to your work.

We could all agree that exercising is good for us. But, if you’re exercising so much that it is causing damage to your body or leaving you with little time to take care of the activities of daily living, you’re probably addicted to exercise.

How about codependence? This is a very complex subject. In fact, we believe that codependence is the root addiction for most people. If you have trouble saying No, or find yourself taking care of other people’s problems while your own are not being attended to, you might want to expand your understanding of codependence.

There are many other socially acceptable and legal addictive behaviors. Some of the most common include: pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by a physician, playing video games, watching television…and, last but definitely not least, smoking cigarettes.

So, how do you avoid all types of addiction? It’s been proven that understanding addiction and how it works helps to increase awareness. With awareness, it becomes easier to watch for the warning signs of addiction and reverse course before you have a major problem with addiction that requires intervention.

If this information has been helpful to you, please comment, like and share so that more people can benefit from it.

About the author 

Dr. Gala Gorman

Dr. Gala Gorman holds advanced degrees in human development, is a holistic life coach, and published author of the Spiritual Approach™ series of books focused on practical spirituality. She co-founded RecoverYES to support the specific needs of people dealing with addiction.