When most people think about addiction, they may typically refer to drug or alcohol addiction. There are other types of addictions that affect all different types of people form different parts of the world. According to Webster, the definition of addiction is a “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.” Someone is addicted when they are compelled to use something over and over that may be harmful.

There are many different types of addictions but the most common are probably addiction to some type of substance like alcohol, drugs or food. These addictive behaviors tend to alter a person’s brain chemistry. When a person is addicted to a substance and does not continue consuming that substance, they will likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal tends to be unpleasant and users will consume more of a substance in order to avoid it.

Other common addictions may be based in a certain type of behavior or activity that produces a positive feeling or brings pleasure. With these type of addictions, the user engages in them repeatedly to get the high or thrill that is part of the activity or behavior. Some of these addictions include addictions to sex, pornography, online games, e-mail or something as innocuous as bingo.

Engaging in any of these behaviors or activities may not be a problem when done in moderation. Addiction occurs when engaging in these same activities or behaviors interferes with the normal activities of everyday life. For example, if the urge to continue playing online games could cause the loss of your job and you play them anyway, then playing these games may be an addiction for you. Feeling anxious or depressed when unable to engage in these activities or behaviors may also be a symptom of addiction.

Remember that many normal everyday activities like enjoying a drink or two at the end of a hard day may be not be considered addictive or risky to some people, but this same activity would be very risky for someone recovering from addiction to alcohol. Also, some people may develop addictions over a long period of time without ever realizing it or having any type of problems. A person who must stop drinking coffee due to a health condition may suddenly realize the presence of a caffeine addiction. The key to overcoming an addiction of any kind is to learn about the processes and signs of addiction before they cause problems.

Addiction comes in many forms and is a common issue. An addiction is when a person does an activity, or uses a substance, that they find so pleasurable that they cannot stop doing or using it. It is important for people to be aware of the different types of addictions so that caution can be exhibited around these substances and situations.

Drugs and Alcohol

Being addicted to a mind-altering substance is very unpleasant, scary, and sometimes deadly. People must enter a rehabilitation center to receive medication and counseling, in order to safely detoxify from these substances. Usually, when a person is addicted to a certain substance, they are susceptible to having addictions to other substances. In addition, most drugs are illegal and carry legal repercussions.

Gambling and Shopping

Casinos and shopping malls are enticing because they seem innocent-enough. This is because winning, or taking home a possession, induces excitement and pleasure that leads to continuing the behavior, sometimes to immeasurable lengths. For instance, the gambler or shopping addict may spend all of their money and go into debt, even if they have a family to care for. Reaching rock-bottom with a gambling or shopping addiction could lead to homelessness.


Some people want to please others in order to feel love in return. Even though sex is a physical act, it satisfies the need for love and attention that those with sexual addictions crave. Some sex addicts change partners often in order to feel the excitement experienced from a first-time encounter. At rock-bottom, sex addicts may end up loveless or with sexually transmitted diseases.


People that are obsessed with having a perfect body may develop an addiction to exercise. The exercise addict must work out daily – often for hours at a time – to strive for excellence in performance and physique. They also get addicted to the “high” experienced from the endorphins released through exercise. An exercise addict must work out to the extreme in order to feel good about him- or herself.

Often, the mental anguish an addict experiences, when they need to fulfill the needs of the addiction, is the worst part of having an addiction. For some, it is torturous to have to continue a behavior that is harming them and others in some way. In other cases, the addict does not even realize they have a problem. Because anything pleasurable can become an addiction, it is important to be sensible and practice moderation in order to live a life free of addictions.

Addiction, in all of its forms, can be an extremely debilitating and life-altering issue. People have addictions ranging from the more benign, such as a daily cup of coffee, to deadly hard drugs such as heroin. Before you can understand why an individual develops an addiction, you must develop a basic understanding of the affliction’s core definition. Addiction is defined by the medical field as something which produces a physical and psychological need within the sufferer. This definition has been broadened over the past couple of decades to include any type of abnormal dependency on something, including porn addiction, food, exercise and shopping.

The most common forms of addiction revolve around narcotic substances. This is not limited to illegal drugs, however, as cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol addictions are much more prevalent than an addiction to an illegal substance. Those who attempt to go cold turkey from any of their addictions will experience discomfort, both physically and psychologically; withdrawal symptoms are not limited to addicts of hard drugs, although they most certainly do have the most difficult path to recovery.

When determining if a substance or other object in a person’s life has become an addiction, a few factors must be considered. If the person is unable to concentrate throughout the day without partaking in the substance or other object, it is likely that they are addicted to it. If the removal of the substance or object causes the person physical and psychological duress, then it is certain that they are addicted to it. Behavioral addictions, such as compulsive gambling, need to be treated with the same level of concern and understanding as a narcotic addiction. Countless people have ruined their lives due to an addiction that never once relied on them ingesting something into their bodies; for this reason, it is imperative to keep a close eye on others who are exhibiting a possible personality shift.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine categorizes addiction in all of its forms as a disease and this classification and others like it have helped to remove the stigma of seeking treatment. It has also enabled those with drug or alcohol addictions to receive some legal protection from discrimination, as long as they are enrolled in a recovery program. Although most addicts ascribe to the belief that no one can ever be completely cured of their addiction, if they seek proper treatment and then remove all negative influences from their life most former addicts can permanently leave their addictions behind them.



Addiction comes in many different forms, and while some people are addicted to physical things, others can be addicted to emotional or other types of stimulation. When most people think of addiction, drugs, alcohol, or maybe even cigarettes come to mind, but addiction can take hold of many different people in many different ways.
Some people can be addicted to other people or the way other people make them feel, causing them to stay in relationships that aren’t necessarily beneficial to them. Some people are addicted to money and it will cause them to do anything to get it. The most commonly recognized and seriously treated addictions usually come in the forms of drugs and alcohol, but people shouldn’t be so quick to think these addictions are the worst.
Addictions cause people to harm themselves and people around them in many ways just to fulfill their needs and when addiction is viewed in this light, things are entirely black and white.
No addiction can be treated any less than another one because they all skew the importance of something in a persons life and addictions are usually there to fill a gap or deficit of some kind.
Addictions also stifle personal progress. Addictions are cycle based and progress is not a circular motion. When someone is dependent on something, whether chemically, mentally, or emotionally, their existence is based on attaining the object of their addiction and nothing else. By recognizing an addiction is not reserved to traditional ideas of what a person can be addicted to it can be much easier to recognize and possibly help someone you care about.
An addiction doesn’t mean someone enjoys something a lot, an addiction can be anything a person has become dependent on to get through the day or it can even be a driving force for anything a person does.
If you suspect someone you care about is addicted to something be sure not to jump to conclusions if it is a more objective addiction, IE: non-drug and alcohol related issues. On the other hand, if someone you care about has any kind of addiction, it’s important not to look down on this person or be upset with them because of their problem. Those dealing with addiction may see it in an entirely different light so be sure not to verbally or emotionally assault someone you care about because it may push them closer to the problem and further from a resolution.