In today’s society, addiction is a problem that plagues an astonishingly high number of people all over the world. Sometimes, addiction can be linked closely to our environments,  our upbringing and things such as socio-economic factors too. But generally speaking, addiction can affect almost anyone because it is such a broad spectrum. Here are just a few of the things that many people end up getting addicted to – and how, if you are one of them, you can break free of the bonds.

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Social media

We often think of addiction as being dependent on a physical substance such as drugs and alcohol. But in reality, it is a lot more fluid than that. Addictive behaviors can arise in response to almost anything (although it is worth mentioning that this kind of behavior differs from OCD). Social media addiction is a relatively new phenomenon that is said to affect millions of people, mainly young adults and teenagers. The very nature of social media means we are at risk of becoming addicted to it. When we receive positive interaction such as a ‘like’, our dopamine levels rise, meaning we feel good inside. This feeling is what many people become dependent on. If you are spending too much time on social media and not enough in the real world, speak to a counsellor and try and curb the amount of time you spend on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. Apps such as Moment can also track how often you use your phone, which can help you keep your urges under control.

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Food

Like social media addiction, food addiction has not be acknowledged for all that long in comparison to other addictions. But it is something that affects a lot of people all over the world and can bring about some serious health issues. Food addiction can often begin due to using food as a comfort during childhood, in the midst of something particularly traumatic. This behavior then continues into adulthood, meaning that the sufferer turns to food whenever they are stressed or upset. If you think you may be food-dependent, make a list of your triggers and the kind of food you are likely to turn to when you are at risk.

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Cigarettes

Since its discovery in the fifteenth century, tobacco has been distributed worldwide and has also been responsible for addiction in millions of people. When people began to smoke it, many of them became addicted to nicotine, a chemical commonly found in tobacco. You will know if you are addicted to nicotine if you smoke cigarettes regularly and if you suffer withdrawal symptoms when you go without them. Quitting can be hard, but there are many ways you can give up the cigarettes. Visit a health professional first, and then you may choose to switch to smoking vape juices instead – something that has been proven to be much healthier.

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Alcohol

Top of the list of most addiction records is alcohol. Alcohol is particularly dangerous because it is both physically AND psychologically addictive. If your family have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction, you may also be at a higher risk of becoming dependent yourself. Alcoholism is one of those things that is best caught early, so if you have any doubts about your ability to consume alcohol safely, speak to your doctor and confide in a trustworthy friend.