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The Different Types of Drug Addiction

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The Different Types of Drug Addiction

Not all addictions look alike. This is partly because addictions range in severity. Another reason is that different drugs have features that are present in various ways. Perhaps most of all, drug addiction varies based on physical, behavioral, and psychological dependence. If you or someone you know is showing signs that occasional drug use has become more of a problem in their life or the lives of others, it’s essential to reach out as soon as possible and get them the help they deserve. Early intervention is always best, but it’s important to remember that it is never too late to discover lasting sobriety. Reach out to Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590 to speak with a specialist who can tell you more about the benefits of our drug addiction treatment program. We look forward to assisting you on your path to recovery.

The Different Types of Drug Addiction

Different drugs create different types of addiction. Some substances lead to physical dependence, while others create psychological dependence. In some cases, both physical and psychological dependence are present. Drug addiction also manifests in different ways for different people. It is important to understand that not all drug addictions look the same, as there are many factors at play.

Psychological Addiction

It’s important to differentiate between what it means to have a drug dependence and a drug addiction. These terms are often used interchangeably when, in fact, they are not the same. A drug dependence implies that a person has a psychological or emotional connection or perceived reliance on drugs or alcohol. This can occur with symptoms that include strong cravings and a desire to use substances more frequently.

Symptoms associated with a psychological dependence may include:

  • Spending more and more time thinking about substance use
  • Feeling you need the substance to function in certain situations
  • Intense cravings based on emotional states of mind
  • Loss of interest in activities

Feeling addicted is not the same thing as being addicted. A person who has a psychological addiction is unlikely to experience the physical symptoms associated with withdrawal. This is because they have not yet formed enough of a habit to develop tolerance. Once tolerance and withdrawal become significant factors, the cycle of abuse develops into physical dependence. At this stage, kicking the habit becomes increasingly tricky without outside intervention.

Addiction is a compulsion. When a person becomes addicted to substances, they continue to use this substance or multiple substances in the case of polysubstance abuse, despite harmful consequences. A full-blown addiction often involves a psychological and physical component.

Physical Addiction

Unlike psychological dependence or addiction, a physical addiction can seem more straightforward. A person feels these sensations in their body. A person who has developed a physical addiction may also display certain unusual behaviors and bodily changes that others can perceive. These are red flags that a person needs help as soon as possible.

Physical dependence and addiction make themselves clear when a person struggles to function without their substance of choice. To be clear, being functional in this case refers to reaching a baseline level of functionality that allows a person to move through the day. There is no such thing as a functioning alcoholic, for instance, because a person is not their best self. They may be able to get through the day and hold up the appearance of being high-functioning. However, it’s all too likely that their private life is extremely dysfunctional.

Signs that a person has developed physical dependence or addiction to substances can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Mood instability, such as paranoia, anxiety, or depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Sleep issues
  • Financial problems
  • Legal issues

If you or someone you care about is showing signs of having an addiction, you are doing everyone in their life a favor by finding ways to encourage them to seek help and break the cycle of abuse.

Reach Out to Red Oak Recovery® to Learn More about Recovery Options

Drug addiction ruins lives, not just the person’s lives but the lives of people in their orbit. Family, friends, and colleagues have an opportunity to help a person get their life back on track by nudging them to get help. They can manage their substance abuse disorder (SUD) and get the help they need. Reach out to Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590 today to speak with a trained representative about our personalized treatment programs for drug addiction recovery.