7 Types of Drug Addiction (And How To Get Help)

There are several types of addiction, each of which may require different treatment. If you believe you or someone you love may need help with an addiction problem, it’s best to seek help sooner than later.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at 7 types of drug addiction and how to get help.

Types of Drug Addiction

Your brain takes over when you become addicted, making it almost impossible to think about anything other than using drugs. Cravings for a drug are not like cravings for junk food. Craving a drug makes it hard to think or function in ordinary activities, and you cannot be distracted from the craving.

When you do get the strength to try and stop using, withdrawal symptoms create unbearable pain. We get it.

Although it may be hard to overcome addiction, it can be done. You can get sober.

One of the first steps is to gain knowledge. The more you know about your addiction, the better you can learn how to cope. Here are 7 types of drug addiction and how to get help.


If you are using amphetamines, any form of cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, or flakka, you may be addicted to stimulants.

Stimulant drugs wake you up, give you energy, and increase body functions like blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. At first, stimulants make you feel great. You feel more alert, you get a lot of things done, and you are very aware of everything around you.

Over time stimulants cause significant problems. A constant lack of sleep eventually diminishes concentration abilities. Ultimately, stimulants make you stay awake but no longer offer the benefits they did in the beginning.

You start to feel paranoid and go in and out of psychosis. A continuous elevated heart rate can lead to heart failure.

To come down from a stimulant, you may be using depressants, creating even more problems for your mental and physical health.


While stimulants cause you to speed up, depressants work on your central nervous system to slow all of your functioning down, way down.

Alcohol, Ativan, Valium, Xanax, tranquilizers, and benzodiazepines are just a few examples of depressants. Some depressants are used to treat common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, even medicines like Zoloft, Effexor, and Lexapro can become addictive.

If you have ever tried to quit using a depressant, you know this to be true. Withdrawal symptoms are terrible, but not as awful as the long-term damage depressant abuse can cause, like liver damage or suppressing your breaths.

Depressants can have similar effects as opiates.


Most opiate or opiate-like substances derive from the same poppy plant. Derivatives are used to create drugs like heroin, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, Percocet, oxycodone, and methadone. All of these drugs are not only addictive but lethal.

Tolerance can quickly grow with opiates, leading to you taking more of the drug to experience the same effect.

Opiates act as a pain reliever, kind of like endorphins in your brain and gut, but one hundred times stronger. Opiates block the pain receptors in your mind, leaving you with a feeling of contentment and euphoria, making it easy to become addicted. On the other hand, withdrawal is excruciating, making relapse likely, unless you get the proper treatment.


LSD, Shrooms, and PCP are examples of hallucinogens. Any of your senses (taste, touch, hearing, sight, and smell) can experience a hallucination. The hallucinations can continue even after you break your addiction to these types of drugs.

Not all of your hallucinations will be rainbows and unicorns—some experience terrifying, self-harming mental and physical effects of these drugs. You can lose contact with reality, experience extreme paranoia, and have life-long psychosis or other mental disorders.


THC Marijuana, K2, Hashish, and Budda are known as some cannabinoids to which people have become addicted. And yes, marijuana is addictive. Withdrawal symptoms happen over a longer period, often longer than a month, making it easy to attribute withdrawal symptoms to other ailments.

While at first, you feel relaxed, less anxious, and euphoric, you can feel the opposite over time. Long-term abuse of cannabinoids leads to paranoia, reduced sex drive, lack of motivation, and respiratory damage.

Inhalants and Over The Counter Drugs

Inhalants can range from illegal substances to over the counter items. Aerosol sprays like computer duster, cleaning fluids, paint thinner, nitrous oxide, hookah, gasoline, and vapes are examples of inhalants being abused by addicts.

The high with inhalants only lasts for a few minutes. But in those few minutes, you can expect lightheadedness, weakness, fainting, headaches, injuries from falling unconscious, and in some cases, death. Long-term use of inhalants leads to severe brain damage and can be fatal.

Inhalants are a reminder that not all drugs need to be prescribed or purchased illegally.

Many other over-the-counter drugs can be abused and lead to addiction, including Benadryl, Robitussin, sleep aids, and diet pills.

The danger in using these to get high is that it takes many of these medicines to obtain the desired effect. Using high amounts of these drugs can lead to physical and mental health problems. You can overdose on over-the-counter medication.

A big problem in America exists because people think just because something is available or given by a doctor that it is safe. This is not true.

Prescription Drugs

There are prescription drugs that are needed and beneficial for a variety of ailments. Your doctor prescribed pain medicine, withdrawal assistance medications, and even ketamine for use in treating depression. They work!

It’s when you stop following doctor orders and begin abusing these drugs that you risk becoming an addict and harming yourself rather than helping yourself.

Doctor’s orders are put into place for a reason, to treat your ailment so that in time, you can return to a high functioning, non-addictive lifestyle.

How to Get Help

If you are struggling with addiction, reach out to the Mental Health Center today. You can work with a team of Psychiatrists and counselors who can help you overcome your addiction. They can even help you get off the wrong medicines using the right medication, to reduce any mental and physical symptoms.

The only step you need to focus on right now is getting help. Contact us virtually or by phone, and we can create your recovery plan today.

Leave a Comment