What Are Examples of Addictive Behaviors?

Addiction is an epidemic that leaves countless Americans dead each year, but addiction isn’t limited to drugs. Rather, there are many addictive behaviors that often take over someone’s life in a similar way. These addictions can become a severe psychological challenge to overcome and sometimes resemble chemical addiction in various ways, such as a sense of withdrawals after breaking off the behavior. While some addictive behaviors overlap with chemical addiction, others are fairly separate.

Examples of Addictive Behaviors

Many behaviors can become addictive for psychological reasons. It may be associated to the self-justification and habit of engaging in that behavior or the physiological highs that come with it. The exact consequences of addictive behaviors can vary, but they all serve to play a deeply detrimental role in a person’s life.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is one of the most widespread addictive behaviors. While responsible alcohol consumption might not be detrimental, it’s currently believed that as many as 6% of American adults may suffer from an alcohol use disorder. In the long term, alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage and other poor health conditions. On the other hand, short-term alcohol abuse increases your odds of risky behaviors such as driving under the influence or engaging in drug abuse.

Drug Use

Opioids, stimulants, and other types of drugs are the root of many addictions across America. Addiction doesn’t necessarily start with irresponsible usage, as many people with an opioid addiction developed a dependency while using prescribed drugs to treat an injury or chronic pain. However, that doesn’t make drug addiction any less dangerous; drug overdoses cause as many as 70,000 deaths per year in the United States.


When someone lies frequently, they may develop a habit of lying even when there’s no reason to. They might be going out to do something entirely innocent and legal, but lie about where they’re going and who they’re spending time with. This has considerable overlap with chemical addiction, as drug addiction often requires people to lie frequently and grow accustomed to the behavior.


No one naturally wants to steal, and people generally turn to theft as a matter of desperation. However, when a person steals frequently they begin to desensitize themselves to the act and even enjoy a rush of adrenaline from engaging in it. Stealing regularly requires developing a sense of opportunism that can persist even when someone straightens out their life and stops turning to theft so often. Stealing also overlaps heavily with addiction, as many people turn to theft to find the money to fund their addiction.

Dana Point Rehab Campuses

When you or a loved one is struggling with any sort of addiction, you can turn to Dana Point Rehab campuses to get the help you need. We’re an organization of compassionate, people-centered professionals who believe that anyone can become better if they truly want to. Don’t struggle alone with addiction, reach out and get help.

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