In 2017, nearly 20 million people, some as young as twelve, struggled with substance abuse in America. That’s more people than are currently living in the country of Chile.
Millions of more people suffer from addiction nonrelated to substance abuse. In fact, addiction comes in many forms.
Are you interested in learning more about the science of addiction? We compiled a list of addictions that are common in the United States. Read ahead to learn more about them and available treatments.
List of Addictions Everyone Should Know
Addiction isn’t anything funny or entertaining. Anyone who has experienced addiction or has had a loved one struggle with addiction can tell you how painful it is.
Here are some of the most common addiction but this list is nonexhaustive.
If you think you or a loved one might be experiencing addiction, it is never too late to find help.
5. Alcohol Abuse
Drinking alcohol is extremely popular in the United States and across the world. It plays a role in many cultural ceremonies.
Binge drinking basically refers to the act of drinking until you’re drunk (blood-alcohol level >0.08). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) defines heavy alcohol use as the presence of binge drinking five or more times in a month.
Alcohol treatment consists of a combination of therapy, detoxification, and medical treatment. A doctor may prescribe drugs such as naltrexone and disulfiram to reduce cravings. Abstinence syndrome can be dangerous in heavy drinkers so detoxification under medical supervision is better than going cold turkey.
Read More: 5 Hardest Addictions to Give Up
4. Nicotine Addiction
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.
Nicotine is a chemical that occurs naturally in tobacco and other plants. It can also be produced synthetically. Although nicotine does not directly cause cancer or other diseases related to smoking, it is extremely addictive.
Don’t forget that big tobacco lied about nicotine being addictive, when in fact, they were purposefully creating cigarettes with more nicotine to create even more loyal customers.
Kicking The Butts
It’s no wonder it’s so hard to quit. That is how they are designed.
Fortunately, there is help. There are pills, such as varenicline and naltrexone, and nicotine-replacement therapy for reducing cravings.
Also, many people thought vaping might be a good alternative but, apparently, that is not the case.
3. Compulsive Gambling
Although not a substance abuse disorder, compulsive gambling is a destructive form of addiction. It can leave people bankrupt and ruin personal and professional relationships.
Gambling is more rampant than ever now that sports betting has been made legal. Many people enjoy casual gambling but it can become problematic.
Cognitive therapy and medication can help.
2. Sex Addiction
Sex is necessary for procreation and its something we love to do. However, for some people the urge is to have sex is uncontrollable.
They can end up hurting themselves by engaging in unsafe sex practices or damaging their relationships with their actions.
1. The Opioid Epidemic
Opioids, such as heroin, hydrocodone, and fentanyl are derived from opium harvested from poppy plants.
These are powerful painkillers with high potential for abuse. They are extremely addictive and their use often ends in economic ruin and tragedy.
Once considered incurable, there are now several proven treatments, including medications like suboxone, buprenorphine, methadone, and others.
Beating Addiction No Matter The Cause
Addiction comes in many shapes and forms but often times the underlying mechanism is similar. Whether talking about alcoholism or sports betting, the list of addictions is extremely long.
It doesn’t matter what kind of addiction we are talking about. It doesn’t matter if we’ve tried to quit before without success.
There is something that can be done. Check out the blog for more articles about addiction and health.