Addiction as we all know means a dependency on something usually drugs or alcohol are the main thing associated with the word addiction.
But in fact, people can actually develop an addiction towards lots of other substances or repetitive behaviors too.
Now granted not all addictions are created equal and some are much more detrimental to us than others. But what types of addiction exist in society and how many people on average actually develop these addictions.
What is an addiction?
To understand what people become addicted to we need to look at what addiction is first and foremost.
Addiction is the compulsive need to consume a substance or participate in an action forming a habit. Addiction in its most basic form is the familiarity of a habit that provides the user with a feeling of pleasure/success this habit will then be repeated and as it is repeated the user will continue to experience this pleasurable feeling.
As this process is repeated the brain will adopt this habit as the correct procedure and will not release these pleasure feelings until the habit is repeated therefore causing the user to continue with the act or habit.
Over time the user will increase the frequency of the habit (for example if gambling is the habit they will gamble more) to achieve this feeling of pleasure.
In the case of the habit being consuming drugs or alcohol, they will typically have to consume more of the substance and more frequently to achieve the feeling they desire.
What can people become addicted to?
There are lots of things people can become addicted to ranging from substances to activities such as gambling, and we are also susceptible to developing multiple addictions and not just being restricted to one addiction.
So, let's discuss the main addictions:
It is estimated around 18% of all adults in the world smoke and that is partly due to the very addictive chemical found in tobacco products called nicotine. Anyone who has quit smoking will know how easy this addiction is to pick up and how difficult it is to put out.
Alcohol is the socially accepted drug of choice for 1 in 3 people in the world. Now don’t get me wrong here having a few glasses of wine with dinner will not make you an alcoholic. However, abuse alcohol and human beings can quickly develop a dependency on it. Alcoholics have suffered severe withdrawals and even in extreme cases death when they have abstained from alcohol after years of misuse.
It is estimated that 10% of Americans have at one point tried illegal drugs in their lifetime. Now that doesn’t mean that all of them became addicted to them however with so many people admitting to trying illegal drugs the percentage of those that did suffer some sort of addiction at one point, or another would be the majority of that 10%.
The problem with illegal drugs is there are no concrete figures to go on however the rising number of individuals requiring treatment for addiction to illegal drugs can provide is some kind of insight.
Arguably a larger issue in the united states than anywhere else on earth is the misuse/addiction to prescription drugs particularly those containing opium. This addiction is probably the worst on the list because the drugs in question are readily available and often prescribed by medical professionals and can be collected at any pharmacy.
There are of course a number of alternate addictions that come from the action of doing something rather than the act of consuming something take gambling for example. A gambling addict can quite easily squander their entire savings in a few hours in a casino and this addiction is difficult to treat because there is no physical dependency present that you might find associated with a drug or alcohol addiction it is more psychological.
And finally, the addiction you probably haven’t thought about yet technology. Yes, technology addiction is becoming a very real thing. With people spending more and more time glued to their devices it is the perfect breeding ground to develop an addiction to this repetitive process look at online gaming, for example, more and more teenagers specifically in Asian countries are having to be treated for addiction to gaming.
They developed this addiction after being glued to their computer for hours on end and tricking the brain into thinking this is a process that should be rewarded thus creating the addiction.
Published by Danny Wilde