Addiction is a symptom. Not a cause.

People become addicted to a substance when they feel they have no other option. They turn to alcohol, legal medical marijuana or prescription painkillers for stress relief and find themselves growing dependent months later. Today’s drug treatment process fares best not by criminalizing or criticizing those struggling with addiction, but by getting to the root cause of the problem. If you’ve been considering the benefits of an alcohol detox center or wonder if mental illness could be why you’re misusing legal medical marijuana, it’s time to look inward and ask a few questions.

Here’s a simple list on the most common addictions in the United States, the most common causes and the resources available to you.


Today alcoholism is the number one drug problem in the United States. When you think about it, alcohol (and caffeine) are the easiest drugs to obtain. All you have to do is drop by your local grocery store, change up your standard order at your favorite restaurant or meet up with a friend. While alcoholism can have genetic predispositions (those with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to develop the disorder), it can also erupt out of a desire to reduce stress or cope with mental illness. Today over 20% of college students meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.


Alcohol is a legal drug that is easy to obtain. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other drug dependency disorders that can be cultivated. People who become addicted to heroin often start out misusing prescription painkillers, such as Oxycontin. In fact, that number is as high as four out of five heroin addicts. Of the over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 that had a substance abuse disorder back in 2015, over two million had a substance use disorder that involved a prescription pain reliever. Does that mean a substance needs to be inherently addictive in order to be misused?


You can technically become addicted to anything. To eating a certain food, adhering to a rigid schedule or even sleeping. Legal medical marijuana is prescribed to relieve pain, but it can become a dependency when used far too often and for th wrong reasons. It’s thought as many as 80% of depressed individuals do not seek professional help for their condition, leaving them at the mercy of an imbalanced brain that has no other choice but to self-medicate. Anxiety disorders, to date, are the most common form of mental illness in the United States.


Drug dependency is inconvenient. It’s frustrating. It can even kill. Acute withdrawal is a very real risk when dealing with addiction, whether it’s a dependency on alcohol or a growing dependency on heroin. It’s estimated anywhere from 10% to 20% of alcoholics have alcohol withdrawal severe enough to require active monitoring and medication, though more minor forms of this condition can still strike. Alcohol patients often receive treatment eight years after the age they first developed the condition. Today drug overdoses are the number one accidental cause of death. Whether it’s legal medical marijuana or pain medication, there are resources available to you.

Getting The Help You Deserve

Addiction can make you feel completely alone, like there’s no one else that could possibly understand the day-to-day struggle you’re going through. The fact of the matter is quite different. Millions of Americans today, young and old, are managing addiction. Today detox doctors and family practice doctors offer around-the-clock treatment in the form of therapy, medication and support groups to help you get your life back on the right track. You can also seek out additional help for mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

You are not your addiction. Seek out help at your local alcohol detox center this year and get back in touch with who you are.