Addiction is the psychological or physical dependence on substances or behaviors that trigger certain responses in the brain and body. The stereotypical view on addiction is typically considered to be alcohol or drug addiction. These addictions often have the most devastating effects on the user’s life and of those around them. Illegal drugs are also not a factor of everyone’s daily life and so a drug addiction is recognized much more often than an addiction to something that could be more accepted.
There are many other addictions more relevant to people’s daily lives and although some do not consider them as often, they can still impact someone’s life as much as any drug could. The main difference between drug and alcohol addictions compared to the ones that will follow is the way they manifest and are accepted. Mainly being that drug and alcohol addiction can produce the lone addict effect. This is where the addict becomes so wrapped up in their addiction and eventually isolate from everyone around them.
Cigarettes are frequently used by the world’s population on a daily basis. Most will acknowledge the harmful side-effects of cigarettes and addictiveness of nicotine but a nicotine addiction does not cause someone to isolate or become violent or angry towards others as one can be on drugs such as cocaine and meth. Nicotine addiction, though it doesn’t manifest itself in majorly noticeable behavioral changes, can lead to fatal health risks and can severely damages the user’s health.
Coffee is drunk by the majority of the employed population in the Western World. Coffee is not considered anti-social in any form and is sometimes even encouraged to increase productivity for work and other activities. Caffeine is also an addictive substance and contains its own health risks. Coffee has been linked with risk factors for coronary heart disease, increases blood pressure and raises blood cholesterol. Many can relate to the need for coffee to function and the experiencing of headaches when abstinent. Since caffeine addiction does not manifest behaviorally and does not visually impact the addict it is often overlooked.
Sugar is found in a wide variety of foods and there is a general lack of awareness towards its actual addictiveness properties. Sugar can lead to both a physical and psychological addiction and result in some health risks and diseases. Sugar addiction is commonly seen as an addiction to sweets and junk food in general.
Video game addiction is one that is new considering the age of the technology itself. It is estimated though that 40% of those playing the game have a World of Warcraft Addiction. Video game addiction does in fact show symptoms of the lone addict. A video game addict will often isolate and have irritability when not playing. There are noticeable behavioral addiction symptoms with World of Warcraft addiction.
Awareness of food addiction is growing constantly with the growing problem of obesity. Food addiction can be both physical and psychological with an addict receiving euphoric pleasure when consuming food. Cravings for food are a natural state of everyone’s life in the form of hunger; for an addict, however, cravings will usually be constant throughout the day. Junk food tends to be more processed and contains more addictive traits and chemicals. Food addiction and junk food addiction can lead to severe health risks and conditions such as coronary issues and clinical obesity.
There are in fact some unusual eating disorders unheard of such as Pica where the addict is driven and has cravings to consume non-food products such as paper or soap. This is most commonly found in those with anemia or zinc deficiency and sometimes women during pregnancy. This addiction can be seriously harmful depending on what products the addict is craving for; they may be craving products which are inherently toxic or harmful.
A lot of people are aware of performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids. They do not often recognize it as an actual addiction comparable to alcoholism or a heroin addiction. There is in fact controversy as to whether or not steroids are in fact addictive. Addiction to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs can have adverse health effects such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and infertility.
Many of the world population take prescribed medications for daily activities such as to enhance sleeping capability. A lot of these medications in fact are addictive and it is possible to suffer from an addiction such as Ambien addiction. Medications such as Ambien are abused for the sedation or other effects and can result in adverse effects such as anxiety and depression.
It is possible to obtain an addiction to virtually any substance or behavior which triggers some feeling or emotion. Many addictions can be tackled or ignored, however the majority come with health risks and can have adverse effects on the addict’s life.