Dictionary Addiction

01 Aug Common Addictions Part 1

When most people think of the word “addiction,” their mind immediately thinks of substances such as drugs and alcohol.  However, it is possible to become addicted to other substances as well as behaviors.  According to Psychology today, an addiction is when a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable, but the act becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life.  Below are 6 common addictions that plague Americans today that are not drugs or alcohol.  Join us next week as we explore a few more common addictions.  

Internet Addiction

Being addicted to the internet is often joked about, but it is no laughing matter.  While many of us spend too much time on our phones, some people have reached a point where they can no longer control their internet use.  This addiction often places relationships and careers in jeopardy.


Food is needed to survive, but some people become addicted to eating food — especially junk food.  This can cause a tolerance to food, meaning that food becomes less and less satisfying, requiring a person to eat more and more of it to obtain the same “high”.  Food addiction and obesity are often linked, but not always.  Those struggling can join a Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous group to help them with their addiction.  


Those addicted to sex crave sexual encounters to the point of compulsion.   They often engage in sexual behaviors disregarding risks and consequences, like having many sexual partners, having sex with strangers, engaging in aggressive behavior, etc.  Unfortunately, sex addictions often lead to molestation and rape, even though that is often a cause of sex addictions.  

Ice Chewing

Compulsive ice chewing, known as pagophagia, is another common addiction that might stem from an iron deficiency.  It is a form of pica, or an addiction to non-nutritious substances (many people with pica eat dirt or chalk to feed their addictions).  Pagophagia can wear down teeth, harm relationships or careers, and cause bloating and other health problems.


Gambling is a serious addiction that closely resembles addictions to substances such as drugs and alcohol.  There are many different types of gambling addiction such as slot machines, online gambling, playing cards, lottery tickets, or even making bets with friends and family.   Many people believe that gambling can help them out of financial trouble, but this often leads them into greater financial peril.

Body Modifications

Many people become addicted to body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, and plastic surgery.  Body modifications often cause pain, and as a result, the body releases endorphins, and that can cause an addiction.  This can cause people to end up in the surgeon’s chair or at the tattoo parlor over and over again.  


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