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Types of Addictions

Prolonged Drug and Alcohol abuse can have a devastating effect to your mind and body.  Kicking the substance abuse habit is often difficult because many drugs have a very high addictive quality, and the withdrawal effects can be very uncomfortable, and in some cases, potentially life threatening.  Detoxification treatment can safely ease the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, but kicking the addictive urges often takes an extended period of time to achieve.  There is a lot of mis-information in the world about drug abuse and its affects, so we have created a page that hopefully clarifies what’s True and what’s Not True regarding drug abuse.


There are 4 broad classification of abused drugs, that are categorized based upon their effect on the human mind and body.  These 4 classifications are:  Opiates, Depressants, Stimulants, and Hallucinogens.


Opiates are powerful painkillers and are the main cause of the explosive rise in drug addiction in America today. Some of these drugs are made from opium from the poppy plant, while others are made-made synthetic opiate type drugs. Opiates produce a rapid and strong feeling of pleasure followed by a sense of well-being and calm.


Long-term opiate use changes the way the brain works by changing the way nerve cells communicate with one another. If opiates are taken away from opiate-dependent brain cells, many of them will become overactive. Eventually, cells will work normally again if the person recovers, but they cause wide range of withdrawal symptoms that affect the mind and the body. As with many other drugs, opiates possess very high addictive potential.


Examples include: Oxycontin, Heroin, Morphine, Opium, Methadone , NarcoticsHydrocodone and Codeine


Depressants slow normal brain function. Prescription depressants are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.  Depressant drugs work uniquely in the brain, and experts think they effect GABA activity that produces a drowsy or calming effect.


Despite their prescription for treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders, depressants also carry high addictive potential. The withdrawal effects from long-term depressant use can be life-threatening and produce some of the worst consequences of any other drug classifications. Alcohol is also the most commonly abused depressant and can have severe withdrawal symptoms.


Examples include: Alcohol, Valium, Benzos, Xanax, Librium, and Barbiturates.


Stimulants are a class of drugs that elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness. Stimulants can cause the heart to beat faster and will also cause blood pressure and breathing to elevate. Repeated use of stimulants can result in paranoia and hostility.


Stimulants change the way the brain works by changing the way nerve cells communicate with one another. Click here for more information about how the brain is impacted by stimulant use. As with many other drugs, stimulants possess very high addictive potential.


Examples include: Cocaine, Methamphetamine (Meth), Crystal Meth, Amphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), and Nicotine.


Hallucinogens have powerful mind-altering effects and can change how the brain perceives time, everyday reality, and the surrounding environment. They affect regions of the brain that are responsible for coordination, thought processes, hearing, and sight. They can cause people to hear voices, see things, and feel sensations that do not exist.


Hallucinogens change the way the brain works by changing the way nerve cells communicate with one another. Click here for more information about how the brain is impacted by hallucinogen use.


Hallucinogens possess a moderate potential for addiction with very high potential for tolerance, moderate level of psychological dependence, and low potential for physical dependence. Most of the risks associated with hallucinogen use are associated with the risk for personal injury and life-threatening accidents.


Examples include:  Marijuana, Mescaline, Psilocybin, LSD, PCP, and MDMA (Ecstasy),.