There are many types of addiction and many levels of severity. People can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, prescription pain medication, food, sex, gaming, gambling, and more. If left untreated, addictions can take tremendous tolls on people’s health, relationships, and sense of self.
A common misconception of addiction is that it is all about frequency. To be diagnosed with an addiction, there are multiple criterion you must meet including but not limited to: increase in tolerance (needing more and more each time), using in larger amounts then it is intended for, presence of withdrawal symptoms, presence of cravings or urges to use, the amount of time spent using/finding/obsessing about the issue, wanting to stop using but being unable to, giving up social, occupational, or recreational activities for the addiction, knowing the addiction is putting your health at risk but continuing the behavior, what consequences have occurred - physically emotionally, relationally, vocationally, academically, legally, spiritually.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Addiction by Harvard Medical School
How Addiction Hijacks the Brain by Harvard Medical School
What Does It Mean When We Call Addiction A Brain Disorder? By Scientific American