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Types of Addiction

1 out of every 7 Americans develops a substance abuse disorder in their lifetime and nearly half of Americans have a close friend or loved one with an addiction. Addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that can impact anyone, regardless of age, race, or background. Drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications all have the potential to cause one of two types of addiction: psychological and physical. When you develop an addiction, it can impact your relationships, health, and career. Struggling with a substance abuse disorder increases conflict, especially with close friends and loved ones. Addiction can also cause you to have difficulty maintaining employment, which can lead to additional financial problems and housing issues.

The Two Types of Addiction

Addiction develops when you continue to abuse drugs or alcohol despite wanting to quit and experiencing negative consequences as a result of your use. Both types of addiction impact your daily life, as your substance of choice becomes increasingly more important than things like friendships, hobbies, and work. Addiction also causes complex changes to your brain chemistry, which can impact your judgment, mood, and behavior. The main difference between the two types of addiction is physical dependencies cause your body to rely on your substance of choice in order to function, which causes withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using. Meanwhile, psychological addiction means your brain is dependent on your substance of choice and you experience intense cravings to use whenever you’re sober. You can have both types of addiction at the same time. During addiction, your tolerance increases, forcing you to constantly use more so you can continue feeling the same pleasurable feelings of intoxication. As addiction progresses, it can lead to significant lifestyle changes, as spending the majority of your time and money on your substance of choice can damage various parts of your life. Since your liver is responsible for filtering impurities, abusing drugs and alcohol can overwork your liver and cause medical issues. Both types of addiction require treatment, as symptoms like cravings can occur long after your last use and be difficult to manage without help.

How Addiction is Treated

When you’re struggling with a substance abuse problem, treatment can consist of either inpatient or outpatient programs, such as:

  • Short-term and long-term residential programs
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Sober living

Residential programs are best if you have a severe addiction, co-occurring disorder, or multiple attempts at treatment. While you have to remain on campus 24 hours a day, inpatient programs allow you to have visitors and stay in touch with friends and family members. Many inpatient rehabs have medically supervised detox, which can make withdrawal more comfortable. Inpatient substance abuse treatment programs usually last for 28 days. Following inpatient, you can choose to continue treatment at an outpatient program. The benefit of engaging in an outpatient program following residential treatment is that it ensures that you have support when you adjust to the early stages of recovery. Since triggers are especially powerful early in the recovery process, treatment centers focus on teaching you healthy coping strategies. Learning how to handle conflict is another important goal of treatment, as improving your communication with others can prevent instability in your personal and professional relationships.

Finding Treatment Today

When you’re battling a substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, or addiction, it can feel overwhelming, stressful, and hopeless. Both types of addiction can make it difficult to live a stable life and to pursue your goals. Reaching out for help is the first step in the recovery process and the sooner you begin treatment, the better your chances are of achieving sobriety. If you have questions about our programs or would like to discuss your treatment options, contact us today at 844.875.5609.