Human beings are capable of becoming addicted to virtually anything, from plastic surgery to texting. While we may think we’re “free,” addiction is determining our behavior in the United States according to the book “Addict Nation.”
“Sex, drugs, booze – everyone is familiar with the obvious addictions, but here is a list of America’s 5 Leading Addictions,” according to best-selling author of Addict Nation, Jane Velez-Mitchell:
1. Prescription Pill Addiction: There’s a growing trend in America to try and solve all manner of discomfort – real or imagined, physical or emotional, with a pill. Pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium fill medicine cabinets and are killing us. Nationwide, deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the second-leading cause of accidental death behind car accidents. In some states, prescription overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death.
2. Food Addiction: Millions of Americans have been self-medicating with fat and sugar for so long the activity has become a standard of living. As a result, our country is suffering from a mind-blowing obesity crisis. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. It would be safe to say obesity is our nation’s biggest health issue, and reports show this epidemic impacts every facet of our lives – from health care to global warming. We’re fat! Our kids are fat! The situation is making us miserable, sick, unattractive and costing us a fortune.
3. Addiction to Crime and Punishment: What’s surpassed baseball as our #1 national pastime? Crime. America’s extreme fixation on violence and murder has reached epidemic proportions, and it is hurting us emotionally and financially. Our justice system prefers to spend untold millions of tax dollars – sealing off the crime scene, forensic testing, offering rewards, arresting the suspect, holding news conferences, going to trial, and then locking up, feeding, clothing and guarding the convicted criminal – rather than spend a tiny sliver of that cost preventing crime in the first place. This addictive mindset is a crime in itself.
4. Addiction to Shopping: While buying something that you actually need is not addictive shopping, American culture has played a shell game with us, creating all manner of artificial needs that are really not needs at all. New cars, tech gadgets, baby showers, and the ever-growing number of holidays are opportunities to enforce the rules of the cult. You need to buy more. Shockingly, the United States accounts for about five percent of the world’s population and almost one-third of global consumption. As we shop our way into massive debt as a nation, the freight train of over-consumption is only accelerating.
5. Addiction to Technology: The book “Addict Nation” suggests Cyber-addiction is perhaps the most complex societal contagion America is facing today because the nature of the Internet is all-encompassing. There is e-mail, texting, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google, Yahoo, iTunes, and innumerable chat rooms. The Internet also acts as a porthole for other addictions like online gambling and porn, making it easy to score with a simple click.
“Will the American people hit bottom on these cultural addictions and change?” asks Velez-Mitchell. “Do we really want a nation filled with citizens who are overwhelmingly obese, drug addicted, hooked on sex, criminally minded or drowning in debt? The choice is our’s. Addict Nation tackles the issue of cultural addictions and promises to shine a light on those who would profit off of our misery.”