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Top Addictions in Aurora, Illinois

Top Addictions in Aurora, Illinois

Substance use and addiction look different in every location across the United States. The impact that substances or activities have on individuals caries by the city size, access to the substance or activity and area’s culture. Understanding the various types of addictions in your area can help you be more aware of yourself and loved ones who may be suffering.

Learn more from Gateway Foundation about the different top addictions in Aurora, Illinois, and what treatment options are available near you.

The Top Addictions in Aurora 

Addiction and substance use disorder are ongoing problems in the United States. In 2018, around 164.8 million people 12 years old or older were battling substance use disorder for tobacco, illicit drugs, alcohol and more. People can also become addicted to activities as well as substances.

The most common addictions that impact individuals in Illinois can be treated and monitored after recovery. Seeking out addiction treatment is essential to a person’s wellbeing and quality of life. Knowing the signs and symptoms of each addiction can keep you and your loved ones safer.


Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition that many individuals suffer from in the United States and Aurora, Illinois. In 2019, around 14.1 million adults battled alcohol use disorder in the U.S. 

People with alcohol use disorder cannot stop using alcohol even when they recognize its negative impact on their life. They will consume excessive alcohol regardless of obligations, work and school performance and their relationships with loved ones.

The severity of alcohol use disorder can range depending on lifestyle and genetic factors. People with alcohol use disorder can experience symptoms like:

  • Spending the majority of their time drinking or purchasing alcohol
  • Distancing themselves from friends or family to consume alcohol
  • Developing a tolerance for alcohol because of excessive consumption
  • Experiencing intense cravings for alcohol
  • Drinking to the point of memory loss or blackouts
  • Finding it difficult to quit drinking even with knowledge of health effects

Drinking at an early age, genetics, family history and co-occurring mental health conditions all influence a person’s risk of developing alcohol use disorder. These factors can show how some individuals can binge drink and not develop an addiction, while others eventually need to seek recovery for alcohol use disorder at an alcohol rehab center. 

Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a popular activity around the country, especially in major cities with multiple casinos. While some people can gamble without concern, others may quickly find it difficult to resist the activity. Around 1% of the United States population struggles with a gambling addiction. This condition can range in severity, take control over a person’s life and continue to cause damage if they don’t seek treatment.

Like drugs and alcohol, gambling targets the brain’s reward system and helps release high amounts of dopamine. The flood of dopamine makes the brain crave the activity again to experience the positive feeling. Individuals will continue to gamble in hopes of fulfilling their cravings. A person may need to gamble more frequently to experience positive feelings. 

Someone with a gambling addiction experiences irresistible urges to continue gambling. They can not stop, even when they are in serious debt or missing out on important parts of their lives like family, work or school.

Gambling Addiction

Tobacco Addiction

Tobacco is one of the most commonly used substances globally that has widely known adverse health effects. Tobacco use is responsible for more than 7 million deaths a year around the world. The addictive ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. This chemical is highly addictive because it causes the brain to release large amounts of dopamine.

The tobacco products that individuals use are cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, e-cigarettes and loose-leaf tobacco. Some of these items are more common than others and impact a person’s health differently. Smoking tobacco can have negative effects on the lungs, and chewing tobacco can cause damage to the gums and mouth.

The signs of tobacco addiction are more noticeable because tobacco use is legal in the United States. Individuals may feel more comfortable using the substance in public and around loved ones because it’s more socially acceptable. There are tell-tale signs of excessive tobacco, including:

  • Self-medicating with tobacco for stress, anxiety or other mental health issues
  • Having no control over tobacco use and can’t quit using the substance
  • Distancing from social gatherings or frequented activities because of tobacco use
  • Continuing tobacco use after health problems arise
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when quitting tobacco use

Drug Addiction

Substance use disorder, or drug addiction, is prevalent in the United States and near the Aurora community. This chronic condition affects a large portion of the population, with around 11.7% of people over 12 struggling with drug use.

An array of drugs — illicit and prescription — are on the market and provide addictive effects and ingredients. Some of the most common drugs that individuals develop a dependency on include:

Regularly using a drug can impact the reward system in the brain to continue craving the euphoria or “high” feelings that the substance provides. This intense need can develop into drug addiction and make it difficult to quit using.

Drug Addiction

Individuals experiencing a drug addiction may show various signs that they need treatment, like:

  • Showing poor performance at work or school
  • Experiencing various health problems related to drug use
  • Engaging in risky behaviors that may lead to injury or illness
  • Refraining from visiting with family members or friends
  • Craving the drug nearly all day
  • Missing major obligations for family, work or school
  • Showing poor grooming or bathing habits and neglecting physical appearance

Gaming Addiction

Video games are a favorite hobby for people of all ages. Some people play games on the computer, a gaming console or their phone. It’s great for individuals to have hobbies and activities they enjoy, but when does a favorite hobby start negatively impacting a person’s life? 

Gaming addictions are viewed differently by researchers. Some believe that the activity is harmless, while others study the negative impacts of gaming addictions. Gaming can trigger the same intense dopamine release as other addictive substances and activities and can cause all-consuming cravings.

Gaming addictions can get in the way of crucial time with friends and family, work, school and other life obligations. Some signs of gaming addiction include:

  • Feeling bad when not having access to video games
  • Lying to others about time spent playing video games
  • Sneaking around to play video games
  • Regularly thinking about gaming
  • Gaming to relieve stress or bad moods constantly
  • Playing games while being aware of the negative impact it has on school and work

Internet Addiction

The internet is a significant aspect of life. People worldwide use the internet for work, school, research and personal use. The internet brings a lot of good into the world, but it can also be a source of addiction for individuals who can’t log off.

Internet addiction includes various types of internet impulse control problems. Since there are no specific ways to determine an internet addiction diagnosis, professionals study five categories of internet usage that people can become addicted to.

The five types of internet addiction include:

  1. Net compulsions: Any interactive online activities like trading stocks, gambling or online auctions are considered net compulsions. The internet makes these activities more accessible for people at high risk for gambling or spending addictions. This type of internet addiction can impact an individual’s financial stability and other aspects of their life.
  2. Cybersex addiction: A cybersex addiction is an internet addiction that involves adult websites, pornography, webcam services and adult fantasy chat rooms. People can log onto these websites for long periods and have trouble integrating themselves into the real world. Individuals with a cybersex addiction may find it difficult to maintain intimate relationships or enjoy real-world romantic or sexual encounters.
  3. Compulsive information seeking: Some individuals may take an extended deep dive into the mountains of information on the internet. Compulsive information seeking describes a person’s inability to control their want to obtain more information online. This is not easy to manage since there is a broad wealth of information, videos, articles, photos and more online. 
  4. Cyber relationship addiction: The world of online dating has grown since it began. Online dating has many perks, but some people may find themselves obsessed over the act of maintaining online relationships and finding new ones. Cyber relationship addictions can start with online chat rooms, social network sites or dating apps. People may show their real identity or a fake one through the modern phenomenon of “catfishing.”
  5. Computer gaming addiction: A computer gaming addiction involves various online games that people depend on to stay happy or make it through their day.

Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction describes the act of compulsively shopping. Every person shops, so hiding the amount of shopping a person does can be easy. It’s especially easy to maintain because of online shopping resources. 

Some of the signs that people may notice with a shopping addiction include:

  • Keeping shopping a secret from family members or friends
  • Spending a majority of the day thinking about shopping or purchasing items
  • Using shopping to relieve negative feelings
  • Having no control of shopping urges
  • Feeling guilty after spending a lot of money shopping
  • Spending more money than a person can afford
  • Spending money on shopping rather than paying bills or other essential payments
  • Needing to shop to feel complete

Shopping addictions are prevalent in the United States and in Illinois. It’s helpful to tell the difference between a shopping addiction and normal shopping trips to help yourself or a loved one with their spending.

Shopping Addiction

Food Addiction

Food addiction isn’t listed as an official addiction, but the condition involves cravings and binge eating behaviors that show a lack of control over food consumption. Eating food can trigger the same dopamine release seen in other substance use, which causes a positive reaction when regularly consuming food. Highly palatable foods rich in fat, sugar and salt are all triggers for food addictions and binge eating.

A few common signs that people can look out for to determine a food addiction are:

  • Eating more than intended: Individuals struggling with food addiction find it hard to eat small portions. They may approach eating as an all-or-nothing way and eat much more than intended because they can’t help it when they’re in close proximity to food.
  • Having intense cravings when full: Cravings are normal for all individuals. A craving is different from hunger because cravings can happen after eating and meeting all of their nutritional needs. Intense cravings don’t necessarily mean that a person has a food addiction, but regular and strong cravings that are impossible to ignore may signal a food addiction problem. 
  • Eating until completely stuffed: People may give in to their food cravings and continue to eat until their stomachs hurt.
  • Making excuses around food: People may hide their excessive eating habits around family and friends or start bending their rules regarding eating better.
  • No control over consumption even with physical problems: Food addiction can impact a person’s health and physical wellbeing. Some short-term health effects include fatigue, acne and weight gain. Long-term health effects of food addiction include chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is a need to seek out sexual activity to satisfy an intense craving — similar to the craving that those with substance or alcohol use disorder seek. Unlike substance use, sex is difficult to quit altogether if people want to have children or enjoy a romantic relationship.

Some of the symptoms of sex addiction include having sexual relationships with multiple partners, craving sex, neglecting important obligations to have sex, escalating sexual activity to achieve positive feelings and feeling negative feelings when not engaging in sexual activity.

What to Do if You Are Struggling With Addiction

Regardless of the type of addiction you or a loved one is struggling with, finding quality treatment is the best option to achieving recovery. You can find some of the best addiction treatments for any of the top addictions in Aurora, Illinois, at Gateway Foundation.

Gateway Foundation offers excellent clinical services and treatment programs that can help individuals recover from various addictions. Some of the clinical services and treatments include:

Gateway also offers various levels of care for patients in Aurora, Illinois, that are struggling with substance use disorder or addiction. We are ready to help every individual with our compassion and recovery expertise.

Find Treatment Programs at Gateway Foundation

Gateway Foundation offers excellent addiction treatment centers in Aurora, Illinois, and throughout the state. With 16 care clinics to visit, you can find the best quality care for yourself or a loved one. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment services. 

Find Treatment Programs at Gateway Foundation