Addiction appears in many forms. When many people think of addiction, it’s common to refer to the more popular substances like alcohol, heroin, or cocaine, but addictive behavior can involve a wide range of different substances and activities.
In fact, nearly every pleasurable activity, from eating to shopping, has the ability to trigger an addiction.
Illicit substances do indeed make up many cases of addiction. Approximately 24 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and, in some areas, this figure is only on the rise.
The heroin epidemic sweeping the United States is evidence of this; death from heroin overdose is up 45 percent since 2007. However, drugs are not the only substances to which individuals can be addicted.
Non-illegal substances can be highly addictive as well, creating problems for millions teens and adults across the country. Approximately 3 percent of those who have tried gambling are addicted.
Between 3 percent and 6 percent of adults struggle with sex addiction, nearly 6 percent of adults are addicted to shopping, and 2.8 percent of Americans suffer with Binge Eating Disorder.
It is also possible to develop obsessions with recreational activities, like video games or exercise.
For those with an addictive personality or who use outside factors to cope with stress, addiction is always a possibility for any fun or exciting hobby.