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Stop Saying We’re ‘Addicted’ to Everything

Misusing the term trivializes the experiences of addicts, misleads people about treatment options and lets bad behavior off the hook

Stop Saying We're Addicted to Everything

There's a difference between addiction and compulsion — but pop culture would have you believe otherwise.

Posted by MEL Magazine on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It seems like there’s nothing Americans won’t claim to be addicted to these days—everything from life-ruining compulsions (sex and video games) to relatively harmless obsessions (kale and coffee enemas). But while people may be certain they’re as addicted to Grand Theft Auto, chopped kale salads or pornography as an alcoholic is to booze, the medical community is adamant they’re not. In fact, modern medicine only recognizes a handful of addictive substances in the DSM-5 (the official handbook of diagnoses). In other words, when it comes to the brain, cyber and sex addition are very different from drug and alcohol addiction.