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Addiction…We are all addicts!


MERRIAM-Webster defines ‘addiction’ as: “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something – an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something”. Basically, we’re all addicts.

Each and every one of us has an ‘unusual great interest’ or a ‘strong and harmful need’ for something, or even someone. When we think of addicts, we tend to think of; drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, food and gambling. But addiction certainly isn’t limited to those areas, you can be addicted to anything under the sun, and even to the sun.

I scoured the web to see what odd addictions exist and here’s a little list – I was certainly surprised: (these are very real):
Ice (addiction to chewing ice), eating dirt, funeral services, tanning, cosmetic surgery, tattoos, sniffing gas, eating glass, eating rocks, drinking blood, eating drywall, drinking urine, eating cremated ashes and so much more. I had to stop researching, it was disturbing.

Sounds like compulsive behaviour, but we all suffer from uncontrollable weakness for satisfaction, it’s part of our nature. You can be addicted to music, reading and just about anything else that is deemed excessive – it’s all about dependency. That reliance often takes us to another “place” or helps us cope with our issues, often anxiety and/or depression.

From a statistics standpoint, there are approximately 25 million drug/alcohol abusers in the world, according to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. These addictions include (in order of most used): alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, caffeinated energy drinks, MDMA, cocaine and amphetamines.

The caffeine and tobacco industries have been expanding, adding new contenders to the list like intranasal caffeine spray (used in Germany), a slew of caffeinated energy drinks, and of course, electronic cigarettes – all of which are quickly climbing the scale..
Did you know that the top ten most drug-addicted countries are Iran, UK, France, Slovakia, Russia, Afghanistan, Canada, USA, Brazil and Mexico? See the full article here.

The BBC reported that there were so many cocaine users in the UK that traces were found in the drinking water. So essentially, other non-abusers have been exposed, and perhaps are still being exposed. This might explain any intense tap water abuse in the UK.

Evolution also brings on news addictions. Studies show that internet addiction is now a recognized disorder – the correct term is IAD. You and I may fall into that one.

But the big question here is ‘why’? We are creatures of habits but what causes us to start harmful addictions, and why are they so excruciatingly hard to break?

I stumbled upon some content based on research done by noted journalist and author Johann Hari. He spent three years exploring the war on drugs. The video below provides a whole different perspective on the topic:

So, what’s your bond? More importantly, how’s your rat park doing? ​I think my bonds are nicotine and espresso, with a slight case of music and travel. My rat park is the world, hence my travel addiction.

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