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Do You Know The Most Common Addictions?

No one expects to develop an addiction when they begin experimenting. However, continued experimentation can lead to addiction, often without the person realizing they have become addicted until they try to stop. There are 11 criteria for addiction as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  You can learn about 10 of the most common addictions below.

Alcohol – Alcohol is among the most commonly misused addictive substances. About 12.7 % of American adults meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD). That’s 1 in 8 adults.

Nicotine – Despite countless public awareness campaigns and anti-smoking laws, millions of Americans continue to struggle with addiction to cigarettes. Multiple experts have rated cigarettes as one of the hardest addictions to kick. nicotine in cigarettes is as addictive as heroin and claims more lives than any other addictive substance.

Process Addictions – Some of the most common process addictions include psychological dependence on gambling, sex, gaming, food, and even shopping. Gambling and shopping can raise levels of dopamine which is the exact thing that substances do.

Barbiturates (sedatives) – Every year, thousands of prescription users build tolerance and ensuing addiction to drugs like Lunesta and Ambien. Sleeping pills can produce mind-altering effects that lead to continued abuse.

Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Diazepam, and Klonopin are especially dangerous because of their powerful impact on the brain’s chemical makeup. Withdrawals can be deadly without medical assistance during detox. As one of the worst addictions, it’s believed that at least 44% of people who use benzodiazepines will become dependent on them.

Cocaine – While it may not be as popular as it was in the 1980s, around 1.5 million people continue to suffer from cocaine addiction in the US. Cocaine is the second most used illicit drug in the U.S.

Heroin – Heroin abuse has been growing in the United States, particularly among young women. Many people with addiction believe they can’t afford help, but substance abuse disorders are now typically covered. Check with your provider to see what type of coverage you have.

Inhalants – Although other substances that are misused can be inhaled, the term inhalants refer to the various substances that people typically take only by inhaling. Chemicals prevalent in inhalants can linger in the body and brain long after stopping use, making a complete recovery more difficult. A study done in Michigan showed that 20 % of young children have abused substances at least once before their eighth grade.

Stimulants – Approximately 900,000 Americans abuse prescription stimulants every month. Stimulants are used to help the user to stay awake longer, increasing the ability to focus and accomplish tasks.  This leads to abuse by academics, professionals, and overachieving parents.

Opioid Painkillers – Most patients who become addicted to prescription painkillers don’t notice they have a problem until they try to stop using them. Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. From 1999–2018, almost 450,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids.

If someone you know is struggling with misuse, overuse, or addiction of any substance including alcohol and prescription medications, it’s important to contact a professional that can offer compassionate support and effective methodology for safely detoxing. You can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) Hotline. They are always there and can connect you with local resources.

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