The Two Types of Addiction: Physical and Psychological

The Two Kinds of Addiction and Why You Need Rehab for Both

Addiction is an insidious disease that can manifest in different ways, destroying relationships, careers, and people. Whether you’re struggling with alcohol or drugs, an addiction generally falls into one of two categories: psychological or physical. Unfortunately, many who have a substance use disorder battle an addiction that’s both psychologically and physically destructive.

A physical addiction means a user will experience withdrawal when they stop taking a drug. Withdrawal symptoms can range from nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps to insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Like a physical addiction, a psychological addiction wreaks havoc on pleasure-reward neurotransmitters, causing the brain to associate using drugs or alcohol with pleasure – and not using them, with pain.

Physical and psychological addiction are what push someone to continue abusing drugs and alcohol despite the desire to quit in the face of mounting negative consequences from use.

The two kinds of addiction also share some other common traits. Signs and symptoms of a combined physical and psychological addiction include feelings of shame and guilt, spending most of your time and money on supporting a habit, using drugs alone, hiding or denying drug use, and loved ones raising concerns.

A safe and medically supervised detox, such as at The Mend, is a crucial first step in treating physical and psychological dependence on drugs. An inpatient or outpatient treatment program can then begin to address the root causes of an addiction while also provide the tools needed to cope so you can begin living a fulfilling and sober life.

If you’re experiencing a relapse or just hoping to begin recovery with the help of a detox or residential treatment program, contact one of The Mend’s care coordinators to discuss your options.

If you’re still not sure whether the time is right to quit drugs or alcohol, take our 10-question quiz HERE.

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