You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Oh, I’m addicted” in relation to pretty much anything from a new product to a binge-worthy Netflix TV show.
But the fact of the matter is that there are millions of people suffering from addiction worldwide, and it’s more of a threat than many of us understand.
While the above phrase is often used in a flippant manner, it’s important to note that addiction can manifest in a number of ways from substances to behaviors.
Looking for some examples? Here are 10 of the most common addictions in the world in no particular order.
It isn’t much of a secret that America has a love affair with food. And to some degree, that’s perfectly fine. However, as a result of overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, obesity is at an all-time high.
Yes, food can be every bit as addictive as any other substance. It all depends on how it’s used.
Many of us tend to eat when we’re bored or emotional, using tasty treats as a coping mechanism. But this can quickly get out of hand, particularly for those who struggle with portion control.
Cocaine addiction was more common a few decades ago, yet this deadly drug still poses a major threat.
Cocaine’s addictive qualities are the result of its almost instant effect which lasts for a short time. The comedown from a cocaine binge is notoriously tough, and as a result, many addicts feel the need to continuously binge.
Internet addiction is perhaps the newest and least-studied forms of addiction you’ll find on this list. However, that doesn’t make it any less real.
Don’t misunderstand, technology is wonderful. It aids our lives in many ways from education to entertainment. But at a certain point, our brains become so accustomed to the constant stimuli that we can’t help but seek out more.
Internet addiction can tie into other forms of addiction, as well. For instance, a user may browse the web looking for a new sex partner, or someone susceptible to a gambling addiction may discover a hot new online poker site.
We all know a self-proclaimed shopaholic. Maybe you’re even a shopaholic yourself.
Shopping can be a fun, even relaxing experience for some. But when spending gets out of hand, lives can get ruined.
And to make matters worse, stores spend millions of dollars each year to better learn how to target your impulses.
Take the grocery store checkout line, for instance. How many times have you found yourself buying groceries, only to spot a delicious candy bar or a salacious magazine out of the corner of your eye? Without even thinking, you pick it up and add it to your purchase.
This is known as an impulse purchase, and it’s by design. These impulse purchases may add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.
Alcoholism may be one of the oldest and most common forms of addiction, but that doesn’t make it any less destructive.
More than most substances, alcoholism may also be determined by a genetic predisposition.
Scientists are still studying what they’ve dubbed the “alcoholism gene” but reports indicate that a variety of factors can help keep dangerous drinking at bay.
Avoiding underage drinking plays a large role, as does drinking in moderation and keeping track of your drinks. The idea with the latter being that the more aware you are of your drinking, the less likely you are to get carried away.
When we think of drug addiction, we often think of harder substances like heroin and cocaine. But by definition, that delicious cup of coffee that gets you going every morning can be as addictive as harder drugs.
Caffeine is classified as a stimulant and is regarded as the world’s most used psychoactive drug. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, per say, yet it does mean that you should be careful and ingest it in moderation.
Quitting caffeine is rarely if ever fatal, but you’ll experience some nasty withdrawal symptoms should you cut back of your daily coffee.
Reports are even beginning to surface suggesting that we’ve under-reported the full effects of the opioid crisis by as many as 70,000 deaths. In short, this is a drug crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Opioids can be some of the most harmful and addictive substances out there. Please, reach out for help or at the very least keep naloxone nearby in case of an overdose.
Most addictions to prescription medication begin innocently enough. The intent is rarely to become hooked on a substance, but instead to treat a medical issue.
There’s a wide range of reasons why a person may develop an addiction to prescription medication, from improper dosage to a chemical reaction to illicit use.
Always follow your doctor’s orders. And if you believe that you’ve received the wrong dosage or want a second opinion, never hesitate to reach out.
Like alcoholism, nicotine addiction often starts at an early age. In fact, the average age of a person’s first cigarette used to be around 15. That means that many people were smoking before they were able to drive themselves around!
And while younger smokers are more likely to quit nicotine, there are still far too many nicotine-related deaths.
You may have noticed that aside from shopping, sex is the only behavioral addiction on this list. However, an addiction to sex can still be quite dangerous, resulting in a range of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, as well as a tendency to engage in other forms of risky behavior.
But like other forms of addiction, addicts can overcome hypersexuality, often through cognitive behavioral therapy.
Final Words On The 10 Most Common Addictions
Each of these common addictions is dangerous in its own way. But the good news is that help is out there.
At Sagebrush, we understand that each patient is different. That’s why we offer a variety of different treatment options to accommodate anyone willing to find help.
If you or a loved one suffer from any of these addictions or even an addiction you don’t see listed here, please get in touch. A better life is just around the corner.