7 Surprising Addictions That Aren’t Drugs or Alcohol

 In Addiction

Addiction is a very broad term. It doesn’t always have to deal with the involvement of drugs or alcohol, people can become addicted to many things. There are many different types of addictions with different signs and treatments, but it’s important to recognize if you or anyone you know is too dependent on something in life. If this is the situation, individuals can become addicted to something and it can be very disruptive.

Here is a list of a few things that people can become addicted to:

1. Caffeine

If you can’t stop chugging coffee and find yourself relying on it for copious amounts every day, there’s a chance you or someone you know might be addicted to caffeine. Huge amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, shakiness, and restlessness. Your heart rate can increase, blood pressure can spike, which can lead to a seizure, and then lead to stroke. Make sure to track your intake of anything with caffeine just to be safe.

2. Smartphones

Not much is known about screen addiction and there hasn’t been much work with that yet but scientists are looking into the effects of overusing smartphones, computers, tablets, and so on. If you think about it, there’s probably someone you know who’s always looking at their phone or electronic device and has become too dependent on it. Be aware of how frequently your screen time is on your phone or laptop or other devices.

3. Social Media

Another form of addiction related to smartphones actually has to do with the apps on your phone. Although social media is a great way to stay connected, talk to family and friends, shop, and explore other people’s lives, it can be dangerous. For some, social media is uncontrollable, and they can’t get away from it. If social media apps/sites are dominating all of your free time, it’s a good idea to step away and focus on aspects in real life.

4. Shopping

Much like gambling addiction, shopping can trigger similar parts in the brain. Many people shop too much for different reasons. Coupons are a great method for stores to get people to keep shopping, everyone always wants to get the best deals and save money. There are also people who are just addicted to shopping and overspend money, buy too many clothes, and many more disruptive effects.

5. Exercise

While exercise can be a great way to get over an addiction, it can also become addicting for people. When you exercise even while sick or injured, if you exercise longer than recommended and too intensely, you may have an unhealthy relationship with exercise. It’s important to know how long you should exercise and to utilize your time when exercising to stay healthy.

6. Sex

Sex is also an addiction that people can become hooked on. Hypersexuality is an addiction and if you can’t stop having sex, can’t stop looking at porn, can’t stop seeking sexual partners (maybe online or even randomly), there’s a good chance that you’re addicted. Similar to shopping or gambling addiction, sex can trigger the pleasure centers of the brain.

7. Gambling

As mentioned earlier, gambling is also a very serious addiction. As many as 8 million Americans have an issue with gambling. Whether you do it in person or online, at slot machines or the poker table, that rush from gambling provides your brain a hit of dopamine and makes you happy and wanting more. If you’re not too lucky though, too much betting can become a problem with your finances, job, and family life.

Addiction begins as a rewiring of the pleasure centers of the brain. No matter the degree or focus of addiction, many habits can be problematic. Depending on your environment, genetics, and other factors, you can become addicted to just about anything. Overall, it’s crucial to remember that just like drug or alcohol addiction, you or anyone you know can overcome addiction.

AmHealth Behavioral is here 24/7 to help you or your loved ones in finding the best treatment for addiction.

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