05 Nov Top 10 Addictions in the United States
A person can get addicted to a number of substances and activities, but most people don’t realize it until it’s too late. People know the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, but these aren’t the only addictive substances/activities. Anything in excess such as drinking coffee, having sex, shopping etc. can also lead to addiction.
Here is the list of top 10 addictions in the US:
- Nicotine – Some may not know but nicotine is as addictive as heroin and can be far more deadly. It has been given its own category because of its widespread nature and the harm it can cause through smoking related diseases. The use of tobacco is one of the leading death causes in America. Every year more than 400,000 people die due to smoking related diseases such as lung cancer, COPD, and emphysema.
- Alcoholism – Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse are the major health issues in the United States associated with various medical issues, like drunk-driving accidents, kidney and liver failures, etc. Almost half of Americans consume alcohol and approximately 10 % of the alcohol drinkers are alcoholics. For addiction recovery, people are encouraged to enroll themselves into sober living NY programs and participate in AA meetings regularly.
- Drug Addiction – It includes both legal and illegal substances. The results are the same whether your drug is readily available or not. Heroin, Meth, Prescription painkillers etc. are addictive and deadly.
- Marijuana – It’s complicated to say whether Marijuana is addictive or not. But it’s the most commonly used illegal drug in the US. Its growing popularity is one of the chief reasons it is included in this list of top 10 addictions. Approximately 95 million people have tried marijuana once in their life after the age of 12. Research has found that Marijuana has dependency capabilities and ulcers the central nervous system.
- Caffeine – Substances such as tea and coffee contain caffeine. This seemingly harmless addiction has sneaked into this list and many Americans are slaves to this addiction. Although not deadly, it also results in serious withdrawal symptoms and can cause severe health issues in later life when taken is excess. The daily recommended amount is a round one cup per day. Exceeding this amount can produce serious health consequences. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that works on the same part of the brain as nicotine, morphine, and cocaine. According to research, almost 30% of people in America drink 6-7 cups of coffee in a day. This amount is enough to qualify as coffee addiction. Skipping one cup of coffee can cause withdrawal signs such as depression, headache, nausea, and fatigue.
- Sexual addiction: As per the 2014 survey, sex addiction has made it into the top 10 list. 3% of women and 8% of men are probably affected by sex addiction. Sex has become a habitual behavior rather than an expression of making love resulting in addiction. The people who are sexually addicted generally have low self-esteem and include such addictions as pornography addiction, masturbation addiction or engaging in dangerous sexual behavior like one night stands.
- Gambling – The gambling industry has exploded in American culture. Many people gamble in hope of winning money. This becomes extremely dangerous if the habit becomes out of control. More than 80% of people have gambled in the previous year. As per data, 1% of the people are found to be pathological gamblers and another 2-3% of people have less, yet still serious gambling addiction. Gambling addiction can cause severe emotional and monetary distress.
- Food addiction – Food addiction or uncontrollable eating is less recognized, but is extremely common with those who suffer from eating disorders. A food addict can’t control himself during eating and use food to deal with feelings such as anxiety, sadness, or depression. Around 2% of the people in the US suffer from eating disorders. Most of the adults suffering from binge-eating disorders are obese, but can also affect people of average weight. This disorder affects women slightly more than men.
- Internet Addiction – The internet is a source for information and since its birth in the late 1980s there isn’t a person who doesn’t know how to browse the web. People love to surf the internet, read blogs and news, communicate with people across the world, and engage in various social activities online. This can turn into an addiction when a person begins to stay online to the point where they never leave their chair and begin to take a toll on actual day-to-day life. If a person feels upset or anxious when he is unable to get online, then it is a sign that the behavior is taking a tun towards the unhealthy. Americans are widely addicted to the internet because of its all-encompassing nature. While there are no exact statistics to figure out a percentage of people addicted to the internet, there have been cases reported of teen internet addiction. This may suggest that addicted individuals are on the younger age demographic. Most of the addiction issues are due to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Yahoo etc. Apart from the sites, people are crazy about checking their emails, messages, downloading iTunes, and going through chat rooms. The internet behaves as a portal for other addictions like porn addiction, gambling addiction, etc.
- Shopping – For some people shopping is also an addiction which often leads to many problems in their lives. They find mental peace with shopping. They use shopping to deal with their emotional concerns. Compulsive shopping might result in financial issues as well and relationship issues with their partner. Studies reveal that 17 million Americans can’t resist the urge to shop, even at the expense of savings, jobs, marriage, and family.
The list of addictions is wide but these are the few common addictions which Americans are facing in their day-to-day life. The more people recognize these conditions and reason behind the addiction, the more they can help their struggling family members, friends or themselves. There are plenty of treatment facilities, High-end sober living houses in the US to deal with addiction issues. People struggling with major addictions can seek treatment and join sober living New York programs to recover from their addictions and live a sober life.