5 Most Serious US Addictions From Addict Nation

Jane Velez Mitchell, the feisty outspoken host of HNL’s Issues has new book out aptly called Addict Nation. Among other things, Velez-Mitchell is a recovering alcoholic with over 15 years of sobriety. Here’s a snapshot of her list of the top 5 addictions in America.

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 our medicine cabinets and it’s killing us. Nationwide, deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the second-leading cause of accidental death behind car accidents. In some states, prescription O.D.’s are the leading cause of accidental death.

2. Food Addiction: Millions of Americans have been self-medicating ourselves with fat and sugar for so long it 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! And, it’s 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, forensics 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 his 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 buy more. Shockingly, the United States accounts for about 5-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 overconsumption is only accelerating.

5. Addiction to Technology: Cyber addiction is perhaps the most complex societal contagion America is facing today because the nature of the Internet is all encompassing. There is email, texting, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, 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.”

Do you think alcohol or cigarettes should have made the top 5?

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