Common parlance tosses about the word “addiction” as if little more than a particularly zealous love of something (or, in some particularly disheartening cases, someone), but reality is far more grim than that. When one’s body and mind become wholly ensconced in their obsession, then they can truly be considered an addict in the psychological, clinical sense. Depression, anxiety, compulsion and other mental illnesses or emotional issues usually trigger the onset of addictive behaviors – although they are by no means the only origins.
The following list glimpses some of the most common ones in the United States, though the substance abuse statistics may not entirely reflect real addiction rates. Data collected by the United States Department of Health and Human Services polls individuals based on their respective substance use in the prior month. Many of them may only be casual consumers – some may even have tried a drug for the first time before polling began. Just because one abuses a drug does not inherently make one an addict. So the actual rate of real dependency will likely be lower than the statistics regarding use reflect.