All addictions harm you in one way or another. Whether it’s alcoholism or addiction to cocaine, heroin, meth, or prescription drugs, addictions have a way of destroying lives, interfering with personal relationships and hurting you in the pocketbook.
Find out the most common addictions that occur in Americans here. You may be shocked at what’s really going on in America when this snapshot of addiction is taken.
#1 Addiction: Sugar
In 1950, Americans consumed 60 pounds of sugar per year. Now, every American consumes about 120 pounds per year, and that figure may not even include high fructose corn syrup and other sweetened substances. Is it addictive? You bet.
In fact, in the last few years, researchers reported that a sugar high produces similar changes in the brain as a cocaine high – and that it’s the most addictive substance. The nature of an addiction is that you can’t stop doing it – and most people will agree – if they don’t have their candy or sweetened beverage daily, they are miserable. Stimulating the sweet receptors in the brain results in high reward signals that lead to addiction and lack of self control.
Sugar addiction may be a gateway “drug” for other substance abuses, and if you look at the diets of people who enter drug detox and drug rehab centers, you’ll see a high correlation of sugar addiction plus other addictions.
#2 Addiction: Caffeine
Up to 90% of Americans regularly use caffeine. Coffee – about 30% of Americans drink 6-7 cups per day and 37% of employees on the job drink at least two cups daily.
#3 Addiction: Internet – estimated 39+ million addicted
The internet addiction refers to those addicted to using the internet, not those addicted to pornography. Stanford University researchers found that 1 of every 8 people they surveyed used the internet too much and it resulted in at least one problem. Internet addiction means the continual monitoring of emails, chatting online, participating in social media and social forums so much that it becomes a craving.
#4 Addiction: Nicotine (Tobacco) – More than 40 million affected
The prevalence of this addiction could be so high because more than 90% of those who smoke started this nasty habit before the age of 18.
Giving it up makes a lot of sense because tobacco use is the #1 preventable cause of death, disability and death in the US. (more than 480,000 premature deaths per year plus an additional 16 million are seriously ill because of it.)
The e-cigarettes aren’t any less harmful, as they lead to teens starting tobacco smoking . See this video for more info on he e-cigarette: https://youtu.be/mToznqKD5Ac
#5 Addiction: Pornography – Not just 8% of men but also 3% of women
Of all the different addictions, pornography may be the worst, affecting 40 million people. This is verified with over 25% of all requests for information on the internet falling in the category of pornography. Of those addicted, 20% of men addicted and 13% of women addicted are accessing pornography during work hours, and can’t seem to stay away from it.
#6 Addiction: Alcohol – About 17 million
More than 90% of those who are addicted to alcohol started this nasty habit before the age of 18. In 2013, 16.6 million adults and another 700,00 children under the age of 18 had health disorders due to alcohol. Almost 25% of people in the U.S. had at least one binge drinking episode in the last month. Alcoholism is rampant in our society.
#7 Addiction: Benzodiazepines – 16.5 million
In 2008, the number of adults using benzodiazepines was 5.2%. This number increases as a person’s age increases. For example, in the 18-35 year old range, the percentage is 2.6%. In the 51-84 year old age range, it’s 7.4% and in the 65-80 year old range, it’s 8.7%. One fourth of those receiving benzodiazepines used them for long periods of time.
#8 Addiction: Marijuana – about 4.2 million of the 6.9 million who are addicted to drugs
The addiction to drugs could be so great because more than 90% of those who smoke started this nasty habit before the age of 18.
#9 Addiction: Painkillers – 2+ million
Statistics from 2012 show that over 2 million people met all the criteria for calling them addicted to painkillers. Another 2 million decided to abuse these drugs for the first time. The most commonly abused drug was OxyContin. 12 million admitted that they used prescription painkillers for reasons other than what they were prescribed for.
#10 Addiction – Other Harmful Drugs
Cocaine – It’s estimated that there are over 1.5 million people addicted to cocaine. Of these, about 400,000 are crack users. Every day, 5000 people decide to try a hit of cocaine for the first time. Those addicted may make it to cocaine drug detox for addiction treatment but many do not.
Earlier statistics from 2005 showed that there were close to 450,000 visits to the ER just from cocaine use alone. By 2008, this number had risen to 482, 188.
Heroin – Heroin is an expensive habit, costing anywhere from $150 to $200 a day. Stats are a little sparse on this drug addiction.
Sedatives (Barbiturates) – Barbiturates cause about 33% of all deaths due to drugs. Every year 60 million people are prescribed a tranquilizer , and 20% of teens admit they abuse stimulants (prescription ones) and tranquilizers. Tranquilizers are also called hypnotics, relaxants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, downers and sleeping pills. On the street, they may be called bennies, benzos, tranx or moggies. They are highly addictive.
Metamphetamine – In 2007, the number of people using methamphetamine rose to 270,000+, reflecting a rise of 11% over the number of those using it in 2005. Luckily, meth drug detox programs are widely available.
This list could have also included those addicted to gambling and workaholics. About 2% of the population is addicted to gambling and 3 out of every 10 people, or an estimated 50 million people could be considered workaholics. Although being a workaholic is not generally thought of as a bad habit, it does increase the risk of developing heart disease by 67%.
If you have any of these addictions, seek out addiction treatment. Inpatient drug detox and drug rehab centers offer extensive medical detox, drug counseling, and 12 step meetings. You can overcome your addictions.