Addiction is a complex disorder presented by uncontrollable substance use despite harmful consequences. People who suffer from addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using certain substances such as alcohol or drugs to the point that it takes over their lives.
People can develop an addiction to:
- PCP, LSD and other hallucinogens
- Inhalants, such as, paint thinners and glue
- Opioids- heroin, prescription medication (i.e. hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl)
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics (i.e. medicines for anxiety such as tranquilizers)
- Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
According to the American Psychiatric Association, an addiction is classified as an addiction when it meets at least three of the following criteria:
- Tolerance. Do you use more alcohol or drugs over time?
- Withdrawal. Have you experienced physical or emotional withdrawal when you have stopped using? Have you experienced anxiety, irritability, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting? Emotional withdrawal is just as significant as physical withdrawal.
- Limited control. Do you sometimes drink or use drugs more than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Does one drink lead to more drinks sometimes? Do you ever regret how much you used the day before?
- Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
- Neglected or postponed activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
- Significant time or energy spent. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spent a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
- Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?