Common Types of Addictions
Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a mental health disease. People with AUD are dependent on alcohol to the point of no control. They regularly use alcohol even after intoxication. The addiction often ends up harming their bodies and social relationships.
The criteria for diagnosing alcoholism or AUD includes at least 2 of the following within a year:
- Strong cravings for alcohol.
- Increased tolerance to alcohol, causing one to drink more.
- Being unable to stop drinking even when one intends to quit.
- Continuing to use alcohol despite knowing it negatively affects on one’s health, social life, and relationships.
- Having much of one’s energy, and money is taken up by obtaining, drinking, and recovering from alcohol.
- Neglecting responsibilities and obligations in favor of drinking alcohol.
- Choosing to drink alcohol instead of other previously enjoyed activities (i.e. hobbies).
- Developing psychological or physical problems due to alcohol use.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when one tries to stop or reduce alcohol intake.
Negative health effects of alcoholism include liver damage, pancreatitis, alcohol poisoning, brain and memory problems, and increased risk of cancer. Drinking alcohol while pregnant is dangerous, as it causes fetal harm and birth defects.
Tobacco and Nicotine
Tobacco is a plant that is used to make products like cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. E-cigarettes or vapes may also have nicotine. What makes tobacco products and vaping addictive is their nicotine content.
Nicotine is a substance that stimulates receptors in the central nervous system. Short-term effects include mental alertness, physical relaxation, and vasoconstriction. While most of the negative health effects of tobacco products are due to the added toxins and carcinogens, nicotine alone is highly addictive. As a result, smoking or chewing tobacco hard to quit.