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Discussing Some of the Most Common Addictions

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Addiction is considered a compulsive behavior towards an individual’s desire towards an activity or substance that induces enjoyment and pleasure in a person’s life. It’s natural to confine addiction to alcohol or drugs but some individuals engage in video gaming, shopping, and sex compulsively. Addiction is not classified as a habit but a medical condition, and therefore it requires treatment such as an illness or disease. 

Individuals who are involved in the most common addictions to an activity or a substance frequently emphasize priority on their addiction rather than their responsibilities. For individuals who engage in drug and alcohol addiction, quitting can prove to be a relatively difficult task. The greatest disadvantage to putting a halt to the biggest drug addictions in the U.S., withdrawal symptoms can be a powerful force for the addict to engage in. 

Quitting is extremely demanding for individuals who engage in the most addictive drugs and addictive activities. For example, when an individual abstains from the most common types of addictions, they begin to become disturbed and display an enticing compulsion to resort back to drug and alcohol use again. Significantly, it’s understood that once an individual becomes addicted to one of the most addictive drugs or activities, that help is the next step.

It’s essential to get help before the most common addictions cause serious damage to the individual and their overall health in general. 

What is the Most Common Type of Addiction in the United States?


Out of the most common addictions in the United States, drug and alcohol use wins the title. Addictions are known to induce some form of gratification to the person struggling and fill a void. It’s important to note that addiction expands past drugs and alcohol. 

1 in every 8 Americans suffers from an addiction, and alcohol addiction. Only 7.9% of Americans have received treatment for alcohol use disorders, otherwise known as AUDs in 2018. Alcohol presents to be the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the US, after obesity and tobacco.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that alcohol causes 20-30% of widespread occurrences such as the following:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Liver cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Murder
  • Liver


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 40 million American adults smoke tobacco. In 2019, 34.1 million people were smoking cigarettes. Tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States and the most responsible for causing the most extensive health damage in the world. 

The CDC also also reports that, every day, about 1,600 young people try using cigarettes for the first time. Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the tobacco industry spends quite a bit of money on marketing cigarettes—billions of dollars, to be exact.


Gambling can present as a source of income for some humanitarian and social programs. It is starting to become more widespread. Unfortunately, more and more individuals are finding that they have an active gambling addiction. 

The most common forms of gambling include:

  • Scratch cards and national lotteries 
  • Pub fruit machines
  • Casino gambling
  • Football polls
  • Horse racing


Sex is an addiction that is utilized by many individuals to reduce anxiety, escape from reality, and relive compulsions. Over 30 million individuals in the United States alone are living with a form of sexual addiction. Sexual dependency, hypersexuality, or compulsive sexual behavior are the other terms for sexual addiction. The condition is known as nymphomania in women and satyriasis in men. 

This addiction has the likelihood of negatively impacting an individual’s life in the following ways:

  • Health 
  • Career
  • Damaging social, emotional, and legal standing


There are unrealistic ideas concerning fast-food advertisements and a body shape in the media that contribute to dysfunctional eating patterns that can eventually lead to food addiction. While it’s not exactly considered an eating disorder, food addiction typically involves snacks and meals high in sugar and fat. These substances are known to supercharge an individual’s brain reward system. When this happens, the body’s natural signals to stop eating are overridden. 


To discover if an individual obtains a shopping addiction is through various signs. One of the ways to know if a person has a shopping addiction is if they receive an initial thrill after buying something but then it dissipates into guilt. The negative feelings usually lead to more shopping. 

The expression “retail therapy” might present a haven to deal with actual problems, but this addiction can lead to intense consequences dealing with money management. Studies on this addiction are scarce, but researchers estimate that a shopping addiction can affect anyone anywhere from 1.8% to 16% of the entire adult population in the United States.


According to the CDC, approximately 50,000 people in the United States died from overdoses involving opioids in 2019. Both prescription medications and illegal drug use are on the rise around the world.

The most common drugs that normally leads to addiction include:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription drugs
  • Hallucinogens
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin 

Internet Gaming Disorder

This disorder has been suggested for inclusion in the DSM-5. The addictions categorized in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5), are used to diagnose mental disorders. Though the internet gaming disorder has been proposed, it hasn’t been officially appointed as an addiction yet. 


  • Continued overuse of internet games even having the awareness and knowledge of the impact it presents on a life
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not playing internet games
  • A loss of interest in other life activities, such as hobbies
  • An obsession or preoccupation with internet games

Video Games

Video game addiction is most prevalent among both younger and older demographics and has the power of wreaking complete havoc on the family dynamic and overall psychological functioning. According to experts, nearly 10% of gamers obtain compulsive addiction issues.


There are various internet addictions that an individual can find themselves addicted to. The most common addictions within the internet realm include:

  • Social networking
  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Gaming
  • Cybersex
  • Mining

Discussing Some of the Most Common Addictions
What are the Top 10 Most Used Drugs?

1. Nicotine (Tobacco)

Even though nicotine (tobacco) might not present to be as damaging as the other top 10 most abused drugs, it is still a serious addiction. The most likely reason nicotine isn’t as harmful is because tobacco products are legal and easily accessible. Nicotine’s worst side effects take time to develop. 

Tobacco use claims many more individuals’ lives than any other substance. Numerous smokers cannot quit engaging in tobacco use despite being fully aware of the detrimental impact it has on their lives, health, and the lives of those around them. When an individual wants to quit a substance but doesn’t have the will to do so is a suggestive sign that that particular person is experiencing addiction and in need of treatment. 

2. Alcohol

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.5 million people ages 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The same report states that approximately 7.2% of people aged 12 and older who had AUD had received treatment in the past year.

Alcohol is highly socially acceptable. Therefore, it makes it more challenging to discern. Despite the legal status of alcohol, the potential for abuse of alcohol opens up the door for various users to be more susceptible to numerous health risks and addiction. 

When an individual engages in alcohol abuse, numerous negative consequences can present themselves. In addition to alcohol abuse having deaths because of alcohol overdose or liver disease, drunk driving claims thousands of individuals’ lives every year. The hopeful side of this tragedy is an alcohol use disorder or AUD can be successfully managed with the help of adequate treatment.

3. Marijuana

Marijuana has become more socially acceptable due to its legalization in different states. The trend of marijuana being legalized can have the capability of distracting individuals from marijuana’s potent potential. Marijuana addiction rates might be growing due to the increasing strength which is over 60% over the past decade. Therefore making it the most used drug in the US.

4. Painkillers

Drugs such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Codeine are prescribed commonly to treat an individual’s pain. Just because painkillers have a prescription status does not indicate that they aren’t habit-forming. Normally when an individual experiences a painkiller addiction, it typically develops from seemingly inoffensive levels of use. 

Numerous patients become addicted to prescription painkillers and don’t recognize they have an issue until they attempt to stop use. It’s important to note that painkillers are also abused without obtaining a prescription, which also has the possibility of leading to an addiction. 

5. Cocaine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of overdose deaths involving cocaine was fairly stable between the years 2009 and 2013. However, the rate of cocaine-involving overdose fatalities nearly tripled between 2013 and 2018.

Also, in 2018, the rate of overdose deaths involving cocaine was highest for adults aged 35–44. The rate was lower for those 65 and over. Crack cocaine is more intense and cheaper than regular cocaine. Cocaine is responsible for ruining lives and creating various crippling addictions. It is the second most trafficked illicit drug addiction in the US. 

6. Heroin

The severe heroin withdrawal symptoms are one of the greatest reasons why beating a heroin addiction is an extremely difficult task. In order to thoroughly treat a heroin addiction will require a healthy combination of medications and therapy to successfully assist in managing the craving and withdrawal symptoms. Heroin use has continued to grow exponentially in the US especially among young women. There is a growing concern over various heroin users contracting and spreading diseases such as AIDS and HIV by sharing needles for injection. 

7. Benzodiazepines

“Benzos” such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are prescribed medications that act as mood-regulating drugs to effectively manage conditions such as stress and anxiety. Individuals who begin to develop a specific addiction to these drugs aren’t often aware of their addiction until they aren’t able to function normally without it. Benzodiazepines are particularly dangerous because of the powerful impact on an individual’s brain chemical makeup. It’s important to note that withdrawals can be deadly without the proper medical assistance during the detox process. 

8. Stimulants

Stimulants range from prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall to more illicit substances such as Meth. These specific drugs are highly habit-forming and the severe withdrawal symptoms can make quitting that much more difficult. Individuals who engage in stimulant use can rapidly build up a tolerance to the drug’s europhic “high” therefore leading to increased risk and use of overdose. 

9. Inhalant Drugs

Inhalant addiction is specifically dangerous because inhalants are explosive toxic substances. The effects of these substances are extremely intense and can present immediate consequences such as death or hospitalization. When chemicals are widespread in inhalant use, the inhalants can linger in an individual’s brain and body long after stopping use. This process can add to making complete recovery that much more difficult. 

10. Barbiturates (Sedatives)

Millions of Americans have been prescribed Barbiturates Sedatives, also commonly known as sleeping pills to treat sleep disorders and tension. Every year, thousands of prescription users build up a tolerance to drugs such as Ambien and Lunesta. This process ensures addiction. Sleeping pills can produce mind-altering effects that can lead to the continued use of the most addictive drugs or most common types of addiction. 

Recovery Awaits At New Directions For Women 

Unfortunately, many people find themselves struggling with substance abuse every year. Perhaps you are dealing with alcoholism or drug dependence right now. Or, maybe you know someone else who is suffering from a substance use problem. The good news is that there is hope. 

The first step towards recovery is accepting that you have an issue and making efforts to receive help. By utilizing the proper assistance from friends, addiction specialists, and family, you can defeat your compulsive behavior and live a healthier lifestyle. 



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