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Top 10 Addictions

Updated on December 24, 2012

Addiction is a disease that affects a very large percentage of people in any given society. Many addiction sufferers don’t even know or will not admit that they suffer from an addiction. The truth is, too much of anything will make you an addict. That is why in this age of overindulgence it doesn’t take very long to go from a “casual user” to a “can’t do without using” substance abuser. Some addictions have been around for centuries while some others are fairly new. This is a list of the top 10 most common addictions;

1. Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is the most common mood altering substance in society. It is non lethal and has a very low side effect quality when consumes in moderation. The problem with alcohol is that over consumption impairs people’s rational decision making abilities, making it a factor in performing complex tasks such as driving a car or operating equipment. Furthermore, it gets worse when it becomes a dependency in order to boost mood or suppress personal problems. Dependency then turns into addiction and addiction often leads to crimes involving violence such as spousal and child abuse.

2. Smoking Addiction
There are numerous reasons why smokers begin this unhealthy habit. Some smoke substances that get them high, calm their nerves, or help them fit into social circles. Whatever the reason is most eventually end up victims to hidden chemicals within those substances. The most addictive of which is the Nicotine in cigarettes. Nicotine is a natural occurring chemical found in many plants but due to its highly addictive qualities Tobacco manufacturers have increased its potency to make consumers addicted to smoking. What Nicotine does is it increases the activity between the neuro-transmitters in the brain are responsible for giving pleasure.

3. Prescription and Illicit Drugs
Most illegal drugs today with the exception of a few started out as medically approved pain killers. People who suffer from chronic pain and others who are recovering from painful medical procedures rely on them to relieve their pain. A small percentage of those people end up addicted without realizing it. Oxycontin is an example of a new medically approved and highly addictive painkiller. Other illegal drugs such as Heroin and Cocaine have been around for decades and have spawned a huge underworld of corruption and crime based on their highly addictive nature.

4. Gambling Addiction
Participating in games of chance such as playing the lottery, betting on the Horses, or playing the slots at their local Casino in hope of winning money is a fairly common activity. Some people partake in these activities on a long term basis as a hobby. The problem starts when it becomes a compulsive activity that the individual is unable to stop to the detriment of their financial stability.

5. Psychological Disorders
Physical Appearance Disorders, Depression, and Excessive Compulsive Disorder can lead to Addictions.
Unfortunately these conditions have resulted in numerous self destructive behavioral tendencies. Some of them are; eating disorders, food addiction, Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and even over exercising. Without the know-how or ability to control many of these disorders the outcome is often fatal.

6. Video and Online Games
The Video Game industry has become the richest and most popular type of entertainment today. Its addictive nature has raised it from the era of PacMan to the complex World of Warcraft. You can find people as young as 3yrs old up to adults and seniors who are stuck on playing them. A video game addict plays video games to the extent that this activity intrudes on his or her life. Highly addictive video games such as World of Warcraft and other Virtual Reality Games are the ones where players assume the identity of a character in the game and are able to interact with other players anywhere in the world. Their brain become used to the virtual world and subsequently finds reality boring and undesirable.

7. Internet Addictions
The internet is one of humanity’s greatest inventions. It has enabled greater access to information as well as connected people and cultures all across the world. An internet addiction problem arises when an individual wants to be online all the time. He or she gets anxious or upset when they are not able to be online to connect with friends or visit their favorite Social Media site such as Facebook and Twitter.

8. Sex and Pornography Addiction
Sex drive is a normal part of life which is hormonal and controllable. It's normal to have a healthy interest in sexual activity but a person with an addiction to sex is likely to engage in risky sexual behavior to satisfy their compulsion. They may go from magazines, the internet, and voyeurism to visiting prostitutes, having affairs, and even picking up strangers to have sex with.

9. Shopping Addiction
While a shopping addiction maybe an emotional escape in most cases, it is also largely the result of mind control through social trending and subliminal advertising. Shopping addiction is mostly attributed to women bet it involves everyone because it is the result of a consumer driven society. People pressure themselves to keep up with the latest clothing styles and consumer goods such as mobile phones without even realizing it.

10. Food Addictions
Food is a necessity in life and eating healthy should be the #1 prerogative. Food however, is no different from any other addictive substance. Food addiction comes about when the chemicals in certain foods react with cells in the brain to release pleasure enhancing hormones. If you do not eat correctly or eat the right foods it will lead to hormonal problems as will as psychological problems and addiction.

All these types of addictions can be grouped into two different categories; chemical and biological. But first, the chemical that is responsible for addiction is Dopamine, the same brain chemical that regulates our emotions including our strongest emotion, Love. It is a neurotransmitter that produces rewards in task achievement. Under normal conditions those neurotransmitters execute their tasks in a timely fashion but as we overindulge in activities that we like the neurotransmitters increase in strength to provide more pleasure. It is like getting “more bang for the buck” so to speak. In this case addiction may be classified as a condition that determines the state of love for something and is biological.

Chemical induced addictions are the deadliest types. Instead of the brain naturally overproducing Dopamine by overindulgence Dopamine is artificially introduced in the form of prescription and illicit Drugs. In this case the level of dopamine release is so great that unless regulated victims often need rehabilitation in order to recover. Use prescription drugs wisely because once addicted you may lose control over your life and become mentally and physically shackled to substances that may ruin you financially, make you mentally unstable, or worse, kill you.

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    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 

      5 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I have a family member that is a food addict. It's my opinion that food addiction is the worst of all addictions because the recovery rate is next to nothing.

      They have to eat to live so there's no abstinence advantage. Food addicts have to pet the tiger everyday. She's had every diet in the book, bariatric operations, workshops, retreats, revivals, and countless counseling sessions. Still, she won't do OA and can manage it on her own. With each passing month she gets larger without exception.

      She along with all addicts face a power far greater than themselves.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      5 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Very good article in understanding the nature of addiction...it helps put things in perspective.

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