Types of Addiction

Addiction is both psychological and behavioral. Addictions are characterized by craving, compulsion, an inability to stop using the drug and lifestyle dysfunction due to drug use. There are many different types of addiction. Understanding the addictive process and the danger signs can help you to tell the difference between addictive behavior, problematic behavior that is not an addiction and normal behavior that is non-problematic or healthy. 


Broadly it can be classified as

  • Substance Addiction – addiction to substances like alcohol, tobacco, drugs
  • Behavioural Addiction - Behavioral addictions are those not involving a substance. This type of addiction can be an impulse control disorder


Substance Addiction includes

  • Alcoholism
  • Tobacco / Nicotine addiction
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Steroid addiction
  • Prescription Addiction (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics like sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Pain Medication Addiction
  • Opiate addiction (i.e. heroin addiction)
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Marijuana addiction i.e. Cannabis
  • Amphetamines Addiction  (like methamphetamine, known as meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)
  • Other unspecified substances

Behavioral addictions include the following:

  • Gambling addiction
  • Food addiction
  • Work addiction
  • Exercise or sport addiction
  • Pornography addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Love addiction
  • Video game addiction
  • Using computers / the internet addiction
  • Pain (seeking) addiction
  • Cutting addiction
  • Shopping addiction

Problem Gambling

Problem gambling involves the continued involvement in gambling activities, despite negative consequences. All gambling addicts are problem gamblers, although not all problem gamblers have a gambling addiction.

Exercise Addiction

Exercise addiction may not necessarily sound like a bad thing to everyone. Extensive researches have demonstrated the physical and emotional health benefits of regular exercise. However, there is such a thing as exercise addiction -- and it can have harmful consequences if done excessively.

Overeating - Food Addiction

Overeating is a common problem, but there are many different types of overeating. Following are the most frequently ways that overeating can become a problem.

  • Binge Eating
  • Emotional Eating
  • Stress Eating
  • Compulsive Snacking
  • Fast food
  • Comfort Eating
  • Social Eating
  • Boredom Eating

Sex addiction is a behavioural addiction often identified by the following forms of compulsion:

  • Voyeurism
  • Exhibitionism
  • Indulgence in pornography
  • Multiple affairs
  • Acting out of self-destructive behaviour
  • Prostitution
  • Anonymous sexual relations
  • Reckless sexual practices

Shopping Addiction

Compulsive shopping (or what's more commonly referred to as shopping addiction), is perhaps the most socially reinforced of the behavioral addictions. Omniomania is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, shopping addiction, shopaholism, compulsive buying or CBD