5 Unconventional Types of Addictions That Ruin Thousands of Lives

types of addictions

About 1 in 7 Americans will deal with substance addiction at some point, according to the US Surgeon General’s office. Of those, only 10 percent will get treatment.

We hear a lot about drug addiction issues, but we’re still bad at facing them and getting people the help they need. There are also other types of addictions that can be as harmful as a cocaine or alcohol habit.

Let’s take a closer look at all types of addiction, starting with five lesser-known kinds.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling is the most fun when you’re winning. But most people don’t win. Instead, they spend their time losing and getting frustrated.

A person with a healthy relationship to gambling can walk away. A person with a gambling addiction can’t do that. They’ll stay at the slot machine or card table, hoping to start a hot streak.

Most of the time, they stay cold. The odds aren’t designed for people to win big regularly, or even to break even. Gambling addicts are desperate to believe otherwise.

Smartphone Addiction

Smartphones should make our lives easier. For people who can’t look away from the small screens of their iPhones, they’re doing the opposite.

Smartphones provide us with a wealth of information at our fingers. Having that kind of power that can feel intoxicating. It can also make us miserable when we’re constantly on the hunt for the next morsel of information to feed our brain.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction falls under the behavioral addictions category. Also known as hypersexuality, it’s been around as long as there’s been sex.

People who get addicted to sex may have trouble forming or maintaining healthy relationships. Their focus on sex clouds everything else. These addicts act out sexually in unhealthy ways. A person with a sex addiction might visit sex workers even though they’re married with kids.

Prescription Addiction

Humans can get addicted to more than street drugs and hard liquor. They can also develop a fixation with prescription drugs, especially the opioid class of painkillers.

Prescription painkiller addiction is a national health crisis. But health experts fear that America’s still not doing enough to address the issue.

Drug rehab and counseling are two treatment options for prescription drug addicts. But such services are not always available or affordable.

Exercise Addiction

Most Americans have trouble exercising even a little bit. For exercise addicts, visiting the gym two or three times a day still might not feel like enough.

It’s common for people who can’t stop exercising to also monitor their food intake obsessively. A doctor can help with any underlying food disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

Like other addicts on this list, someone with an exercise addiction can also benefit from seeing a qualified addiction counselor.

Fighting Different Types of Addictions

You may recognize yourself in some of the above addiction examples. Most people get addicted to one thing or another, even if it’s just their morning cup of coffee.

The trick lies in recognizing the types of addictions that can impair your life. You may be less vulnerable to addiction if you can eliminate negative sources of energy in your life. Check out our blog post on that topic to find out how.