14 Worst Addictions and Their Characteristics

Most drugs turn into addictions when a user feels empowered, when a false sense of security is created, and when there is a type of stimulation involved that pleases the user. Addictions can come in the form of everything from prescription medications to acts like gambling.

An addict may be addicted to being in a relaxed, calm mood or a high-energy, euphoric state. The overuse, abuse, and addiction can also vary in intensity or pattern. Here are some of the worst addictions and hardest habits to kick.

1. Alcohol addiction

Alcohol is everywhere. Many people suffer from alcohol use disorder. It is by far the top choice in substance abuse and addiction in the United States, with dozens of people dying every day as a result of alcohol-related causes. Alcohol, used chronically, can change the way a normal brain functions. Consult an addiction treatment center to guide you away from this ailment.

2. Cannabis addiction

Cannabis addiction can result in irritability, mood swings, sleep difficulties, restlessness, and more. Marijuana addiction can also cause significant cognitive dysfunction, behavioural problems, memory issues, attention deficiency, and functional changes in the brain.

3. Gambling addiction

Gambling addiction is the addiction with the highest suicide rate. Multiple studies have found gamblers are up to 15 times more likely to commit suicide than the average individual. The losses sustained from gambling addiction one can never escape, and a lack of impulse control can mean the addiction continues for an extended period before intervention.

4. Heroin addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. It causes the brain’s dopamine levels to increase by nearly 200%, has excruciating withdrawal symptoms, and is inexpensive to buy on the street. Heroin is technically an opioid that blocks sensations of pain and provides a feeling of euphoria upon use.

5. Sex addiction

Sex addiction is one of the worst in large part because of the stigma and shame it carries. It is often seen as an excuse for bad behaviour rather than as a legitimate addiction. Sex addiction is a very unique issue that can lead to inappropriate and risky sexual behaviour that one might not otherwise pursue.

6. Cocaine addiction

Cocaine produces lots of energy and a positive mood. It’s used recreationally or socially and is easily addictive. Cocaine shuts down the brain’s process of reusing serotonin and dopamine, causing these substances to build up and unbalance our mood. The resulting euphoria is highly addictive.

7. Food addiction

Eating we all do every day. Yet food addictions take that to the extreme, making eating unhealthy and debilitating. From binge eating to abstaining from food, this type of eating pattern wreaks havoc on the system, contributing to a variety of mental and physical troubles.

8. Methadone addiction

Methadone is a substance often used to help addicts deal with the withdrawal effects of hard drugs. That said, methadone abuse is prominent. The substance affects the same brain structures and functions as any other opioids do. Any sort of gradual or immediate stopping of methadone should be done carefully.

9. Shopping addiction

Compulsive shopping can lead to debt and hoarding and has everything to do with impulse control. The debt one may find themselves in cannot be dug out easily. A shopping addiction can also take its toll on personal relationships, such as that with a spouse who may be frustrated with this type of behaviour.

10. Tobacco cigarettes addiction

Millions all over the world continue to struggle with an addiction to cigarettes. Multiple experts continue to report that it is one of the hardest addictions to kick. Heavy cravings for nicotine lead to intense irritability and other withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine-containing cigarettes are as addictive as heroin, studies suggest.

11. Prescription opioids addiction

Prescription opioids have widespread acceptance, are easily accessible, and have strong withdrawal symptoms when they have been taken for an extended period and are suddenly stopped. Any prescription medications can be abused, with opioids being among the worst to tamper with.

12. Benzodiazepines addiction

Benzodiazepines can be argued to be worse than opioids when it comes to addiction. They are highly addictive. Used to treat anxiety and stress, benzos create surges of dopamine that cause dopamine-producing cells in the body to change. Cells deteriorate, resulting in bigger dopamine surges and eventually altering brain function.

13. Methamphetamine addiction

Methamphetamine, meth, or crystal meth is a stimulant drug that is snorted, smoked, or injected for a very powerful high. Along with its abuse can come psychosis, aggression, and violence. The drug is known to cause intense pleasure but is then followed by depression, fatigue, and major drug cravings. Long-term methamphetamine use permanently damages the brain, causing issues with memory and emotional regulation.

14. Exercise addiction

A lot of people point to exercising and fitness as healthy habits. However, too much of it can be bad and cause detrimental health effects. Exercise done to an addictive degree can cause injuries and problems in a person’s personal and professional life. There can also be mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when a person with an exercise addiction is not working out.

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