When I reflect on the number of conversations I’ve had with people who express “they just don’t understand addiction” as a way of dismissing my opioid use disorder (OUD), it’s glaring.
Anyone with a smartphone understands addiction. It’s just something society has chosen to ignore and dismiss because admitting it acknowledges they have a problem. It’s the same as with drugs and alcohol, but the stigma is not there. Here are several other addictions people are not taking seriously.
1. Smartphone Addiction
Right. There’s a reason it’s number one on this list. Even the generations who would “never allow their children” to have smartphones have become entirely consumed by their own. It’s the equivalent of carrying a computer in your pocket with access to everything from GPS directions to Candy Crush marathons.
Recently, I read a funny bit about something that would die out with the boomers. I laughed out loud at a commenter who said, “The uncomfortable awkwardness of sitting in a doctor’s office and trying not to make eye contact with others.”
No lie. I recently had a mammogram, and there are varying ages of women in the waiting area after you get into your gowns. The sweetest older senior woman next to me was glued and appeared to operate her phone with more confidence than I. But, again, if we decided to acknowledge it for what it is, we’d all have to admit we have a problem. It is the first step to recovery.
Are you guilty of feeling lonely and wanting friends but also not wanting to put effort into maintaining relationships? You’re not alone. Except for cats and dogs, many thread contributors agreed they prefer solitude most of the time.
“Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realize how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.” – Jim Carrey.
Sugar is in everything from ketchup to obvious desserts, and it’s a massive societal addiction that people choose to ignore. Several people in this thread admitted to quitting substances, including opioids, alcohol, and methamphetamines, but are struggling to overcome their sugar addictions.
Attention can manifest in many ways, including social media, causing issues in school, causing chaos in the workplace, and out on the club scene. For example, a former TikTok user confessed they became obsessed with the view counts on their videos and admitted to checking their TikTok 100+ times a day.
5. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks have large amounts of caffeine, which may cause severe heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure. One noted that anytime they hear someone say, “Man, I need another Red Bull,” they reply with, “No. You need some freaking water.”
Validation plays into attention and social media addiction but can be a valid concern on its own. While people joked about wanting upvotes on their comments for validation, one pointed out, “Even billionaires can’t get enough validation despite all their hired yes-men. Look how many people Elon Musk and Donald Trump fire for not validating them.”
Oof. As a former self-deprecating person, self-deprecation is so accurate it hurts. One explains that it begins with jokes to break the ice in social situations. However, it evolves into a form of sarcasm ingrained into your everyday speech. Then it becomes an accurate depiction of how you see yourself, and it spirals into depression.
8. Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Are you a night owl who fights the urge to go to bed despite dragging the following day? Someone explained it’s called “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination,” when a person feels emotionally exhausted. They haven’t had enough time to care for themself. So they often stay up late to get this time but unintentionally exacerbate the problem due to lack of sleep.
Food addiction is accurate, and society accepts it as usual. One suggests, “It’s also the hardest to break as you can’t go cold turkey or abstain. It’s the one addiction which almost everyone around you enables unabashedly, especially family.”
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10. Nasal Spray
Nasal spray is an addiction that many users in this thread confessed to having. A physician said saline and steroid sprays such as Flonase and Nasacort aren’t addictive. However, “Afrin can really mess your nose up.” The active ingredient Oxymetazoline is “Definitely one I avoid at all costs.”
Honorable Mentions: Adult films, dopamine, cigarettes, alcohol, work, and chapstick. And though it didn’t make this list, I’d add watching the news. This thread inspired this post.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.