Types of addiction
Addiction is the inability of a person to stop using a substance or performing a certain activity. Addiction is characterised by compulsive behaviour and dependence. When we think of addiction, we think mostly of illegal drugs. However, there are many types of addiction:
Addiction to illegal drugs
Cannabis, heroin, cocaine, etc. Many drugs can lead to addiction. However, the abuse of certain prescription drugs should also be mentioned. The dependence engendered by the use of these drugs is similar to that of illegal drugs. An opiate bought “on the street” (such as heroin or fentanyl) or an opiate prescribed by a doctor can lead to the same addiction.
People who suffer from alcohol addiction tend to downplay their problem because drinking alcohol plays a culturally-accepted, social and festive role. However, alcohol addiction can have very serious consequences for people’s health, and it is essential that any cessation of alcohol consumption by a person with alcohol use disorders be supervised by a doctor.
Nicotine, the main ingredient in cigarettes, is one of the most addictive substances. Absorbed by the lungs and then circultated in the brain, it produces a feeling of pleasure and, over time, a strong dependence. Tobacco addiction is not only chemical, but also behavioural and psychological.
Gambling, video games, sex, sport and even food can also lead to compulsive and addictive behaviours. In fact, there are many similarities between these behavioural or “non-substance” addictions and addictions to alcohol or other drugs.