Addiction Treatment

Most Common Addictions

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Last updated: 08/8/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The most common drug addictions are sometimes easy to recognize, sometimes not. However, it is important to remember that all types of this disease can be treated in a professional rehab program and that it is important for you to seek out the safest, most effective option for your needs.

Nicotine

Nicotine is perhaps the most common addiction in the United States. As a legal drug, the nicotine in cigarettes affects many individuals worldwide and is still extremely habit-forming. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them want to quit each year. Unfortunately, it has also been documented that about 85 percent of these individuals will relapse when trying to quit.

Alcohol

Alcohol is another addictive substance that is highly available, legal, and dangerous. While moderate amounts of alcohol are approved for consumption by doctors, those who drink copious amounts often are likely to become dependent. And because the substance can be purchased almost anywhere, alcoholism is still especially rampant in the United States.

Many people do not realize when they have a problem with alcohol or how severe their problem actually is. Those who are dependent on alcohol often experience these clear symptoms

  • Cravings for the substance
  • An inability to control one’s alcohol intake
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping one’s use
  • Tolerance to the effects of the substance

Approximately 7.2 percent or 17 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older had an [alcohol use disorder] in 2012.

Marijuana

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is a habit-forming drug, and individuals who are addicted to it are becoming a larger part of the population. In 2014, 3.176 million people in the U.S. abused or were dependent on marijuana. Though the drug has become legal to use in certain states––recreationally and medicinally –marijuana can still cause the same signs and symptoms associated with other, well-documented cases of addiction. Also, many individuals abuse the drug often and in large amounts, which can lead to compulsive use and other serious consequences.

Prescription Drugs

Many people do not realize that a number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be addictive, just like illicit drugs. Prescription opioids, sedatives, and stimulants are some of the most highly abused substances in the United States, especially by teens and young adults.

All three types of these drugs can cause addiction that can be just as severe as that caused by illicit substance abuse. However, perhaps the worst part of this common syndrome is how easily addicts can obtain these drugs, even though they are meant to be taken by prescription only. Adolescents can often obtain these medications from friends or family members, on the Internet, or by searching someone’s medicine cabinet.

Heroin

23 percent of those who have used heroin at least once in their lifetime will become addicted to it. Heroin is one of the most severely addictive substances, and unfortunately, other types of drug abuse can lead a person to it. Almost half of the individuals surveyed in three recent studies claimed that they used prescription opioids before turning to heroin abuse.

Cocaine

Cocaine is another extremely addictive and dangerous drug. Those who abuse it are very likely to experience severe side effects as well as the compulsive desire to continue their abuse. Crack, the version of the drug that appears as small crystals and is smoked, is perhaps even more habit-forming.

Behavioral Addictions

behavioral addictions are also very common in today’s society but are often more difficult to pinpoint with exact numbers. Sex, food, work, shopping, gambling, and the Internet can all be addictive if one’s behavior becomes compulsive and problematic. However, it is important to remember that behavioral addictions can be treated in ways similar to drug addictions.

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