Addictions are compulsive behaviors toward a substance or activity that induces pleasure or some form of gratification. Addiction goes beyond drugs and alcohol. Activities such as excessive shopping, video gaming, sex and gambling can also qualify as addictions. An addiction is more than just a bad habit — it is a medical condition that requires treatment.
10 Most Common Addictions
One in every eight Americans suffers from an addiction. Here is our list of the ten most common addictions:
- Video games: Video game addictions are prevalent among both younger and older demographics and can wreak havoc on family and psychological functioning.
- The Internet: Types of Internet addiction include information mining, cybersex, social networking, gaming, shopping and gambling.
- Alcohol: The World Health Organization (WHO) states that alcohol causes 20 to 30 percent of worldwide incidences such as cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, vehicle accidents, murder, liver cancer and esophageal cancer.
- Tobacco: Tobacco is responsible for causing the most health damage in the world. Every year, 1.3 billion people die due to tobacco use.
- Drugs: Both illegal drug use and prescription medications are on the rise around the world. The most abused drugs include heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.
- Shopping: Shopping addicts may get an initial thrill after buying something that can quickly dissipate into guilt. These negative feelings then lead to more shopping.
- Sex: Sex is an addiction used by many to relive compulsions, reduce anxiety or escape from reality.
- Food: Unrealistic ideas concerning body shape in the media and fast-food advertisements can contribute to dysfunctional eating patterns that can lead to food addictions.
- Gambling: Gambling is a source of income for some social and humanitarian programs and is becoming more widespread. Some of the most common forms of gambling are horse racing, casino gambling, national lotteries and scratch cards, bingo, pub fruit machines, football pools and other lotteries and raffles.
Most Abused Illicit Drugs in the United States
According to U.S. government statistics, about 24.6 million people used an illicit drug in the last 30 days. The most popular drugs in the U.S. today are:
- Cocaine: Cocaine is the second most trafficked illicit drug in the U.S.
- Hallucinogens: According to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use, approximately 17 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 have used hallucinogens at least once.
- Heroin: From 2007 to 2016, the number of people that consumed heroin increased almost every year in the U.S.
- Marijuana: Marijuana use has increased from 14.5 million users in 2007 to 19.8 million in 2013.
- Prescription drugs: Pain relievers represent some of the most popular prescription-type drugs.
- Methamphetamine: According to the NSDUH, about 1.6 million people reported using methamphetamine in the past year in 2017.
Choosing a Rehab Facility
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, there is always hope! Gateway Foundation has trained clinicians ready to assist you or a loved one in the recovery process. Contact us today to learn more.