Understanding addiction

Understanding addiction-source bbc-health



Types of addiction

Crushed cigarette

People can be addicted to many different substances, from alcohol and illegal drugs to prescription medicines, as well as to some types of behaviour.

  • Alcohol – where do you cross the line from social drinking to addiction?
  • Amphetamines – some of the most commonly used illegal drugs, these synthetic drugs used as stimulants
  • Cannabis – there’s evidence it can help with some conditions, but also cause psychotic illness
  • Cocaine – renowned for being one of the most dangerous drugs
  • Ecstasy – immediate or short-term effects include an increased heart rate and raised blood pressure
  • Gambling – as many as 350,000 people in the UK have a significant gambling problem
  • Heroin – renowned for being one of the most dangerous drugs
  • LSD – one of the most powerful hallucinogens known
  • Legal highs – what are they?
  • Mephedrone and naphyrone – stimulants with effects similar to amphetamines, ecstasy or cocaine
  • Methadone – a mimic of heroin used to combat addiction
  • Nicotine – one of the most powerfully addictive drugs
  • Painkillers – sometimes known as a silent addiction
  • Prozac – over 35 million people worldwide have been prescribed this antidepressant
  • Sex addiction – six per cent or more of the population experience sex addiction
  • Tranquilisers – may be used to relieve anxiety or induce sleep

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