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Top 10 Legal Addictions

Ryan Thomas . . . Comments

In the Eighties, Nancy Reagan led a militant campaign to do away with drugs, from the backs of schoolyards to the cartels of Columbia. However, when her husband ultimately succumbed to Alzheimer’s, you didn’t see her telling him to “just say NO” to his medication. There’s a clear double-standard on how drugs are handled in this country, but there seems to be one unifying principle: if the government can somehow make a profit, it’s a-okay as far as the law goes. Nonetheless, substance abuse and addiction rages at full force on both sides of the law, and feigning an injury is a much less risky way to acquire an opiate than to cross the border and smuggle a plastic-wrapped portion of suspicious black goop. Addiction is good business for all involved. Here are ten of the leading examples of those which the law doesn’t frown upon (mostly because it has no feeling left in its face). Note: virtually all of these addictions can be satiated at any convenience or grocery store, and purchased with an EBT card (and if that’s not enabling, there’s no such thing).



Shopping Bags

Compulsive shopping is a disorder, and one that can keep the economy churning, if the afflicted member is a responsible credit card owner. More often than not, however, a frequent credit card swiper will live in bottomless debt, with nothing but a household of canoes and flatscreen T.V.’s to show for it. Of course, the government would encourage spending at inadvisable times if it means economic stimulation (and, of course, sales tax revenue), but the compulsive shopper needs more counseling than trips to the mall to right this wrong.



Samsung-B530 Multisystem Lcd Tv Small

Visual stimulation can be just as addictive as any other kind. Cut off a shut-in’s cable subscription and watch how quickly a sweet, slightly-sedated old lady can become a common junkie, suffering from violent withdrawal symptoms and uncontrollable behavior. Television is an endless stream of unilateral entertainment, that simulates a fulfilling life one may be missing out on due to being terminally wheelchair-confined, or else just cut off from a greater society. Just pay the monthly bill, and the loneliness can be neatly stuffed into a little old coin purse.




How can a game consisting of orcs, wizards and other medieval cliches consume so many souls and hours of sunlight? Unfathomable as it sounds, millions maintain a subscription to a network-based video game, and treat it as a second life, one in which they clock in more hours than in the actual world. Eat, sleep, energy drink, game: that is the complete life of many who’ve yet to leave their parents’ basement, or pursue a real life of work that doesn’t involve trading furs or blacksmithing. And about the addictive nature of games like World of Warcraft, just see the video on Youtube of the kid that has a veritable stigmata over his mom taking away his WOW account. Scary stuff.


Celebrity Gossip


Because people care (i.e. obsess) about the lives of the beautiful and famous; tabloids, TMZ and trashcan journalism exists. For some, enough to make a handsome profit, it’s not enough to watch a movie and leave the stars onscreen. No, they need to see these people hunted down and in intimate, compromising settings that would be grounds for an assault charge in any other circumstance – an invasion of privacy that nobody deserves. Sure, reality stars present a kind of voyeurism in their professions that makes privacy invasion a given, but for any artist who creates their work in isolated, public arenas and seek not to take their work home with them, there becomes a fine line between celebrity reporter and peeping tom.


Fast Food

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Greasy, fattening food is cheap and ubiquitous. Literally, it can be acquired 24/7 and at every intersection, and purchased by the bucket for less than whats in your typical consumer’s belly button. Obesity is easy; in fact, it’s hard to avoid when healthy food costs more than the average consumer can afford with his weekly paycheck. Fast food is made cheap (often with artificial substitutes), hence it can be sold cheap and is a sad sap’s last option. When it tastes so much better than it benefits, it is, again, a huge draw. McDonald’s brags right on its golden arches how many billion burgers it’s sold, but it is not by any pure means: for one, McDonald’s loads their food with chemicals that simulate happiness, their hamburger buns with sugar, which is another petty alternative to just making good food alone. Only recently have the chicken nuggets started to be made with the frighteningly white meat of actual chicken, a step up from sickly colored ostrich meat. So, as many struggle, and fail, to convert to a healthier diet, they “put a smile on” only because the milkshakes are loaded with too many chemicals to do otherwise.



Black Jack2

Be it at a casino in a tolerant state, or an Indian reservation or behind the counter of any convenience store sales counter in scratch form, risking all your earnings for a poor chance at modest luck is a great way to grease up a business’ fat gut. Many seeking a magical and immediate escape from an under-educated life of manual labor and alcohol poisoning flock to pick up their daily lotto ticket or place their “lucky” numbers, as if a million to one isn’t so far-fetched. And no business should be trusted that purposefully eschews visible windows and clocks in order to hide the passage of time. Lo and behold, any state with loose casino laws automatically resembles the inside of Donald Trump’s gentleman’s drawer.



Adult Content

It’s lurid. It’s tasteless. And it’s a goldmine. Just ask Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt or any infinite-aire that shovels gold from the sex industry. Nothing sells like sex, which is why it is so often introduced, if subliminally, to any cheap-shooting marketing campaign. Directly though, sex in a bottle always finds a customer-base. Nothing breeds desire like nature. Porn is available at the click of a mouse, and on a special shelf (in opaque packaging) at most magazine venders. That’s not to mention seedy stores with conspicuous names like “Adult Mart” or “Pleasure Island”, which make like X-rated Wal-Marts. No Christian activist stands a chance at taking down this invincible Goliath.




Legal steadily since the twenties, when the government had the crazy idea to ban this braincell-shedding national pastime and deny itself unruly profits, booze is as potentially dangerous as it is ubiquitous. At any public setting (even Starbucks is getting in on the racket), alcohol is usually available for purchase, and without much restraint so long as the register keeps chiming (and as long as a designated vehicular man-saver is selected). While it seems unfair that its proven hazards outweigh those of marijuana, and still maintains the legal status the plant does not, we won’t soon have a profitable poison at quite the summit which liquor has found itself. Budweiser will be forever both the king of beers and the king of the drug hill.



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Unarguably a direct contributor to a smorgasbord of death options, the government has done nothing to do away with this consumable poison; while there may be myriad agencies dedicated to the public safety of any other ingestible product, there is nothing deterring a cylinder of carcinogens from entering countless lungs each day, each hour. The only dissembling action the government has taken is to drive up the tax on the the stuff to levels that should prevent affordability for most consumers. Of course, any addict will find a way to acquire the goods, even scrape together every coin from beneath the couch cushions. In actuality smokers will just be perpetually bitter about the continually rising prices, doing little about it besides lighting up a butt. A perfect circle of death and taxes.


Prescription Drugs


This is the most sinister of all the addiction-caterers, in that you’re not even safe from your own doctor. Most every doctor will find a way to peddle a pharmaceutical drug to a person with some kind of condition, real or imaginary; it makes their job easier, and feeds the business (i.e. the healthcare industry) that cuts them a check to be a drug-dealer in disguise. Most prescription drugs, after all, are just synthetic alternatives to what unrefined, impure substances flow through the streets without requiring an RX slip. (Oxycontin is, content-wise, no different from heroine, and consequently is just as addictive and abused as the poppy-based original.) And with new disorders, diseases and conditions fabricated on a daily basis, there will always be a demand to meet the raid-proof supply.

  • YouRang?

    Listverse. That’s my addiction.

    • dsafaf

      I’m surprised the Internet is not number 1; hell, not even on the list. =o That is my addiction. Also, yeah I agree with MMORPGs. Probably spend thousands of hours playing Runescape as a kid.
      Proud to say 5, 6, 7, and 9 don’t apply to me at all. I haven’t eaten fast food for over 5 years now.

      I am though starting to become a shopping addict. I spend at least $200 everyday. :(

  • Fred

    USA! USA! No!1!

    • Winston’s Revenge

      Too American

      Also alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells. That’s an old nanny myth. Shoddy journalism

      • Zeke

        maybe you should start your own listverse site where it is not too American for your tastes then

        • Winston’s Revenge

          You sound mad

          • dghammer

            Something killed your brain CELL.

      • To Winston’s Revenge : Alcohol may not kill brain cells, but alcoholism did do this to me, and I have been diagnosed with the following ; Diabetes Type 2, Insomnia, Anxiety, High Blood Pressure, Edema, Neuropathy, Acid Reflux, Mild Depression. I take 11 different medications a day. 3 of them twice per day and 1 of them thrice per day. I have kept every medical record of me since 2006 and in between that time and today I have been on an estimated 50 different types of medication, countless visits to the hospital/ER and have to had in home care with an IV next to my couch in my living room and injecting myself with Cubicin (an anti-inflammatory). Because of the Diabetes, it cost me an amputation of my Big Toe on my right foot. I can walk all right, but I cannot run (which seems eerily ironic as I was an All-State and All-American in high school Track & Field). When I was honorably discharged from the NAVY back in 1995, I had 20/10 vision. Now my right eye is 20/200 and have been wearing glasses for 3 years now. I agree that prohibition in the 1920’s was the worst mistake that the United States is concerned regarding the economy and gang/mobster related violence. But there are those who just don’t get the message about the dangers of alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous ? That organization is a bunch of brainwashing, manipulating BS as far as I am concerned with episcopalian overtones (I am an agnostic bordering on atheism). There is a book entitled “The Small Book” written by a recovering alcoholic named Dr. Jack Trimpey. He’ll give you his lowdown on what his opinion of AA is all about. My plan was simple. I just woke up one morning 5 years ago and put my foot down and said to myself “THIS IS INSANE” and I have never touched alcohol since and feel great. But once again, as I have listed. This is what the ramifications that I have suffered because of alcohol…..Enough Said

  • rahul

    interesting. although quiet a few missing.

  • lame

    • Boone

      “but there seems to be one unifying principle: if the government can somehow make a profit, it’s a-okay as far as the law goes. ”

      This lister makes no sense. Do you honestly believe governments couldnt make money by legalizing drugs such as Marijuana, Cocaine, or Heroin? Of course they would. Any Government that spends millions on preventing drug use would surely make many more millions by legalizing it and putting a tax on it. Your belief that some drugs are made illegal because the government cant make money is not only unfounded but simply incorrect.

      • Boone

        Apparently you cant say Mary jane on this site. JFrater, you really need to edit the words that are banned or blocked on this site. It is becoming ridiculous how many words are censored in the comments nowadays.

      • TheBlackFrost

        The biggest reason marijuana is illegal is that the government thinks they make more money off it being illegal than if it was legal. And even though so many politicians promise to legalize it, if they get elected they never will. Its all the corporate mindset in corrupt America, weed doesn’t kill, and prescription drugs, alcohol, and ciggarettes can all kill, WITHOUT WARNING. Fuck conservatives, all of them. Michael Moore was right after all, although he’s still retarded

      • Saboo

        cocaine would come mainly from south america, and herion from the middle east, even if it was legalized over here and so would not make much money for the US. Anyone could grow cannabis in their own home if it was legalized and so the government would make no money there either.

      • P5ychoRaz


      • Mrs Marvel

        The poster seems to believe that all drugs were included in Nancy Reagan’s famous “just say no” campaign. She certainly didn’t want people to say no to heart medicine, or antipsychotics that kept them from freaking out and killing the neighbors. I put it down to Ryan Thomas not actually being alive when the Just Say No campaign was launched.

        Drawing a difference between “all drugs” and “just the illegal, illicit ones” is important to understanding that campaign. Furthermore, you really have some kind of axe to grind against pharmaceuticals. If you want to turn away chemo or TPA (clot buster for stroke victims) that’s fine for you, but most people appreciate the life saving medicines that are available today.

        That being said, I don’t deny there are definitely people addicted to prescription drugs, but those are the exception and not the rule in your local pharmacy.

        • Med kid

          Thank you, Mrs Marvel. This list maker is truly in a little black box. If he can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. One personal comment. We fight things like porn and dangerous drugs because it’s the right thing to do. You don’t stop fighting murder and rape just because you’ll never make it completely go away. Apparently his sense of morality is based on what makes him money. Or what is personally addicted to

        • NovaEra

          Because when you’re prescribed vicodin or some other opiate for chronic pain you totally do not end up addicted.

          • Mrs Marvel

            I have been proscribed vicodin and am not addicted.

    • wasd

      What he said.

  • frenemy

    Shopping, TV, gossip and fast food. Maybe not fast food but the the rest I admit I’m addicted.

  • Kenson

    Technically speaking, an addiction is something that changes the chemistry of the brain. A lot of these are really behavioral compulsions. That said, they do take up both time and money and if a person is doing them to the extent that the individual is no longer able to function properly, they are dangerous.

    • Vagabond_Sam

      The reason they can be classed as additctions is because of the dopamine release that the brain injects whenever something triggers a ‘pleasure’ sensation. Too much dopamine turns an occasional indulgence into a habit to ensure you get a constant dopamine kick.

      It’s the chemical the brain uses to ‘learn’ behaviours that are desirable such as eating when you are hungry or the enjoyment of a good nights sleep. Addictions start when this process causes someone to ‘learn’ an undesirable activity and it causes a chemical imbalance in the brain which is why shopping can be an addiction.

      • Nocturnesthesia

        Thanks sam. Technically speaking meth is a psychological addiction too. And I don’t particularly like McDonalds food, but last time I ate an order of fries from there I was craving them for days. No idea why, but other junk food doesn’t seem to have that effect

    • P5ychoRaz

      whatever helps you live with your addictions I guess

  • David

    The video you are referencing in #8 is staged. The truth was pried out on Tosh.0, plus the kid kept making more “world’s greatest freakout” videos after the original was so popular.

  • Drac

    Numbers 2 and 3 show up the incredible hypocrisy of local governments in dealing with these social problems. I live in Oregon where the tax on cigarettes has gone up constantly while we have the lowest taxes on alcohol of any state in the Union. And we are famous for our huge selection of micro-breweries, which flourish under this lop-sided tax scheme.

    Meanwhile, we have made it illegal to smoke in bars so when some drunk plows into the back of a Ford Pinto full of children, you can rest assured his lungs were smoke-free.

    Meanwhile, I continue with my addiction as best I can. I smoke ultra-lights, which have about one-fourth the tar and nicotine of a regular cigarette. I would like to switch to the 1-mg versions, but the FDA has stopped manufacturers from advertising the tar and nicotine content. I’ve been to about 20 different stores and I can’t find the 1-mg versions of anything. These would obviously be much better for me than what I’m smoking now, and would probably be an important factor in getting off nicotine altogether. Alas, for reasons known only to the FDA, they have decided it’s better for me to die than to live on while smoking the less potent cigarettes.

    • Arsnl

      The difference between alcohol and cigarettes is that most people are social drinkers. They have 2-3 drinks once a week and that’s about it. If they dont drink for a month, their lives continue to be ok. Social smokers are fewer than smokers that smoke a cigarette more often than once a week. So in a nutshell, I can enjoy a drink without being a drunk but can someone enjoy a smoke without being a smoker? This shows that the benefits drawn from an alcoholic drink can be enjoyed by everybody, but for a cigarette, it’s usually only the ones that are addicts that benefit. And we can both sit at a table, you enjoying your orange juice me enjoying my beer without either having an influence on the other. But can you enjoy your cigarette without stinking me up too?

      Also there is a cultural aspect to it: wine, champagne, cognac,vineyards, beer and microbreweries (you talk about), whiskey etc. they have a cultural side to it. Every country has its alcoholic beverage to be proud of. Who is proud of their cigarettes?

      • Arsnl

        PS (sorry for the double post): and whoever got laid cuz they smoked a cigarette? Only ’50s hollywood stars (aka people that didnt even need to smoke to get nookie).

      • YouRang?

        So you’re saying alcohol is NOT addictive for most people but tobacco is? Alcohol is merely a choice for those people and if we passed a new version of the Volstead Act, few people would really care? But cutting off people’s access to cigarettes would lead to riots in the streets and a thriving black market in tobacco?

        • Arsnl

          If you’d ban bread or school or books, you would have riots on the streets, and I have yet to meet a school addict. I’d riot if alcohol were to get banned and I am not at all an alcoholic.
          Your argument is terribly weak. People riot for all kinds of reasons and this would seem more like a riot against an unfair/unjust reason.

          • Arsnl /… I have yet to meet a school addict.

            You ought to meet my family, or just take a quick on any Uni campus, you’ll see a lot of “school addicts”. It is a very expensive addiction.

    • dustofstars

      I posted a reply to you, but it went to the bottom. I thought I hit reply to you. It’s under the name dustofstars. Please read it. I spent a lot of time writing it…want to help. Good luck to you and hopefully all who read it!

  • tanvir


    • LOL WUT?

      Good. I’m addicted to coffee myself. I sometimes wake up with a severe sinus headache and strong coffee gets rid of it faster than anything. Sometimes I take aspirin with the coffee, but I’m getting away from that as OTC pain-killers are extremely dangerous, contributing to the deaths of thousands every year. I just ordered some White Willow Bark. It contains acetysalic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, but in its natural setting, while it’s not as potent as aspirin, it’s never been shown to be dangerous.

      Strangely, while coffee helps me get rid of headaches, going without coffee brings on major headaches.

      • Pain-Control

        O.T. to this discussion, but not to your post.

        Wake up with a sinus headache? I have that problem occasionally, but following a friend’s advice, found a way to eliminate it.

        When you FIRST start to feel the pain in your forehead, roll both of your eyes upward, as if you are looking at the ceiling. Hold them in that position for about ten to fifteen seconds or more. There may be a slight increase in pain when you initially do this, but it will begin to dissipate, and after a few seconds, the pain will start to fade. You may have to repeat this a few times to stop the headache altogether.

        I don’t know why this works, but it does.

        • LOL WUT?

          Thanks, Pain-Control. I’ll try that.

          There’s also a method that involves alternately pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth and pushing up the forehead that seems to help a little. I once went nearly three years without one of these headaches after using acu-pressure, but I was later told that method is dangerous (leads to strokes, etc.) so I won’t use the acu-pressure again unless the headaches become more frequent.

          • Bocorwin

            Most people that have a lot of headaches, I’ve noticed, don’t drink water (don’t like the taste, think they get enought ‘water’ from soda , coffee or energy drinks). Everyone should probably drink mre water. I had migraines for years until I tried drinking water AS SOON as I felt the headache creeping in

      • druglord

        Acetylsalicylic and aspirin are synonymous…and it wont kill you unless you take 2-3 pills everyday, and that too for years. The body will use it and you will piss it out in under 10 hours.

  • IronAl

    Good list.

  • Dan

    A decent list unfortunately marred by a few unfortunate problems with #1:

    First of all prescription drug abuse is illegal– not the actual having of pills prescribed to you, but the way addicts obtain enough pills to feed an addiction (or the fact they purchase them on the street) are illegal.

    Secondly saying Oxycodone and Heroin (Diamorphine Acetate) are content-wise the same is like saying wart remover (salicylic acid) is the same as aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid) or that vicks inhalers (Levamphetamine) and crystal meth (methamphetamine) are “content-wise the same”.

    Your view of pain specialists is not uncommon but sadly inaccurate: the FDA is making real progress trying to stem the tide of prescription abuse, from nation-wide watchlists to prevent known addicts from getting more drugs to working towards a system that would block prescription refills of the same (or closely related) drugs from multiple scripts and multiple doctors even across different drug stores and chains.

    • Cameron

      Dan, thanks for saying that. What Dan is referring to is called the ‘methylation’ of a chemical. When this is done, the drug can reach the same receptors as a street drug but IT ISN’T THE STREET DRUG. Also, having worked with many physicians, I can tell you from experience that I’ve met only a single MD to this day that prescribed unwarranted narcotics (a practice impossible to do for very long in the current age) and he’s already being investigated – he’ll probably lose his license. Can physicians be drug dealers? Not for very long.

      • mom424

        Disagree – our town Physician got away with it for years. We have an entire generation of oxy addicts almost entirely because of his actions. Crack heads, when they couldn’t/can’t get their drug of choice would go see the doctor. Complain of compressed discs, fibromyalgia, migraines, whatever, and get a prescription for oxys. They in turn sell the oxys to buy their crack cocaine – Insuring a further generation of addicts.

        The doctor didn’t make money, other than his consulting fee, but he prescribed so irresponsibly that he may as well have.

        btw – he lost his license to prescribe medicine – way too late for many in my small town.

  • Kari

    Sex? I thought that’d be number one!

  • Flippy Doodle

    Nice list. I like your point about how “The Man” (sorry for the cliche term) encouraging these behaviours or not banning some of the products, for the tax revenue.

    Especially the idea of shopping like crazy (for things you don’t need), using up credit and going into debt. If you go back 40 – 50 years, there used to be this big cultural taboo against taking loans for things you cannot afford. Now, this form of consumerism is encouraged.

    I always also view the internet as an addiction too. I have all the classic withdrawal symptoms (irritability, I obsessively click through many links, etc).

    • JustSayin’

      I agree with you about the cultural taboo against credit in years past. However, that was also at a time with relatively lower inflation and greater real wages. It would be nearly impossible to make any fairly large purchase in today’s economy without borrowing. In fact, it’s now difficult to buy just about anything without using some form of credit, including basic necessities.

      • YouRang?

        I agree, JustSayin’, but even if necessary credit is a trap. I avoided that, but now I have another problem. I occassionally have reason to have my credit checked for store discount cards or something like that and it usually comes back blank as I haven’t bought anything on credit for many years. If I wanted to buy a house or a car, I’d have a real problem.

        The real problem for the economy comes about in terms of short-term credit for small businesses. There have been thousands of f contractors out there who depended on 30-day or 90-day loans to make their payrolls, buy materials for the next construction job, replace inventory. When the crisis hits, the banks shut down to these people and thousands of small businesses have had to shut down or turn down lucrative jobs because they couldn’t borrow the money to operate on until the first payments came in.

        We saved the banks; now they are destroying the country.

      • JustSayin’ …In fact, it’s now difficult to buy just about anything without using some form of credit…

        Not so! It does take planning to make big purchases without resorting to credit, but it can be done. My husband and I have credit cards, but *never* make a purchase we can’t pay off entirely at the end of the month. We can do this because we plan ahead and save up for those expensive purchases (my husband’s car or our new washer & dryer or vacations).

  • Nate

    Geez interesting list but maybe tone the anger down just a notch

    • Baldguy

      My thoughts exactly ;-)

  • Bullamakanka

    Sorry… what does MMORPG stand for?

    • oldirtykoala

      Mega Mulitplayer Online Role Playing Game. Not 100% sure if the first M is mega or massive but the idea is the same.

      • KateB

        It’s Massive or Massively, depending on who you ask

  • Matt

    Did I miss caffeine in there? oh speaking of which…

  • jim

    This website is worldwide, so while refering to”this country” in your introduction, you should keep in mind that the majority of readers are not from”this country”(regardless whether it is the US, as I assume it is, or another country). Also, drugs that are illegal in your country are not necessarily illegal in all other countries.

    While we’re at it, the hyperbole about governments and profits from drugs is a bit silly, especially as illegal and legal drugs are some of the most profitable traded commodities.

    Anyhow, a good idea for a list, but not well written. what the hell is MMORPGs anyway.

    • OmegaMan

      MMORPG : Massively multiplayer online role playing game.

    • Dan

      Excellent point, codine is legal over-the-counter in Russia, it’s controlled in the US.

      That said with very few exceptions all of these things are legal almost everywhere (the only exceptions being alcohol which is banned in some places and prescription drugs which are not available in some places) and that’s part of the seductive appeal, there’s no need to deal with organized crimeor risk serious jail time to get your high one of these ways.

      Not to mention the fact that it’s easier to deny that you’re an addict if you’re not slipping wads of bills into a man’s pocket on a street corner in a bad part of town.

    • Drac

      Good point, jim. As most of the writers are based in England or the United States, they tend to write for a British or United Statesian audience. It would only take a few words to point out when they’re writing about a purely English-speaking world situation.

      In Listverse’s defense, the commentors have pleaded for lists from other parts of the world. I’d love to see more lists written by Asians, Africans or Norsians. (Norsites?)

  • OmegaMan

    The entries in the list were way too obvious.

  • jer-bear

    I’m addicted to technology I think. Either my tv, blackberry, kindle, itouch, ps3 or laptop are within easy reach. I really don’t know if it a crutch, but how did we survive with out tech in our lives? I cannot think doing much of anything with out technology. What is rehab for techies?

  • SpiderDan

    Sex! You forgot about sex!!!

    • Surya

      Let me guess, what you wrote… sex! Didn’t you?

  • Will Trame

    I’ll have to admit that I have an addiction to caffeine. I love my three cups of coffee a day as well as me two cans of pepsi (or mountain dew). Since I quit drinking alcoholic beverages (I had to as I suffer severe gout from time to time), my caffeine urges have significantly increased.

    TV. When I was a young lad, I loved me Saturday morning cartoons..the more violent the better. This of course was in the late sixties when superhero toons were in vogue. Then of course came primetime, with such programs as “Wild Wild West”, “Mannix”, “Hawaii Five-O” and reruns of “The Untouchables”. Fortunately I overcame those; I now primarily watch stations such as Discovery and History (although I do love Encore Westerns…”The Virginian” and “Cimarron Strip” in particular).

    Overall, not a bad list, but fairly pedestrian.

  • kame

    Religion should be on top.

    • Manatee

      How can you be addicted to a belief structure? That’s like saying you can be addicted to believing cats are better than dogs. But no, you just wanted to make your nonsensical comment.

  • Surya

    Dear old books, where are you?

    • Will Trame

      Good old books. Being a trivia freak, I own over 250 books ranging from music to movies to inexplicable phenomena. I need to acquire more knowledge, ergo, all of these tomes satisfy another one of my particular jones. Your comment reminded me of the old “Twilight Zone” classic “Time Enough At Last”.

      • YouRang?

        This may be too young a crowd to remember that one, Will. Great show, though, and Burgess Meredith was excellent in it.

  • Bella

    Good list, but I think we need a 2nd one :)
    Caffeine has to be on it and work/success and the internet (not just gaming).

  • Blitzkrieg

    Incredibly weak list, and could the writer at least learn how to spell? Good lord.

    • Vor

      I agree, seriously now

  • moopersoup


  • ArjayM

    Haha, agree!

  • Excuse me

    Re: the introduction. I am not quite sure why a dying person would say ” no to drugs”. And with Alzheimer’s a person has no decision making ability Even a simple choice can throw them into such a reaction, the one way to calm them down is with antipsychotic meds or antianxiety meds.

  • missmozell

    I would have said that salt was a universal legal addiction. Didn’t Britain control the manufacturing of salt in India before their independence? Gahndi led his followers in marching to the sea to make salt from soaked cloths in an act of civil disobedience. Imagine thousands of stoners defiantly puffing away in front of the White House…

  • Ben

    “healthy food costs more than the average consumer can afford” Maybe if the “average consumer” bothered to prepare the meals from base ingredients, rather than buying pre-prepared ‘healthy’ meals, they wouldn’t need to spend as much money. Fruit and vegetables are dirt cheap.

  • dpitty

    ummm…. INTERNET???

    #fucking 1.1

  • Dana

    I really would have thought Coca-Cola (or caffeine) would have been on here!

  • David

    Yes, there’s no difference between drugs to handle legitimate medical conditions and crystal meth. Moron list and moron author. Perhaps
    one of Ryan’s relatives should acquire Alzheimer’s someday, and then
    he can relive this list and enjoy the irony.

  • Stephen

    I liked this list a lot more than I was expecting to. I would have added music and pop technology (e.g. cell phones, ipods) to the list as well. Social media too, definitely. Someone else mentioned caffeine. Procrastination, maybe?

    • Will Trame

      I guess music could be considered an addiction, but with me, it’s an encompassing hobby. I admit it…I love my music, as attested to by my over 200 album reviews on another website.

  • Mon

    this is lame.

  • Miss

    Why would anyone want to get rid of porn? I’m a straight girl, and even I like it.

  • Marc

    What a total load of crap subby. I’ve been disappointed lately with the quality of the lists on here, and this is a perfect example. There is no effort made to be objective. I will agree that prescription drug abuse is a big problem, but you make no effort to differentiate between the dishonest prescribers and those who are honest. By your account, all physicians are pill pushers being controlled by big pharma. I’m a nurse and I’ve seen the dishonest doctors, but the majority of the ones I work with are honest, hard working individuals who have the patients’ best interests at heart. You owe all of them an apology.

  • Darren

    The word addiction means nothing these days it sickens me.

  • Kou

    “Many seeking a magical and immediate escape from an under-educated life of manual labor and alcohol poisoning flock to pick up their daily lotto ticket or place their “lucky” numbers as if a million to one isn’t so far-fetched.” Is one of the most ignorant and elitist things I’ve ever read on this site. You’re basically saying here that only people that do manual labor play the lotto? Wrong. There are plenty of doctors, lawyers, college professors, ect ect that play the lotto. Plenty of well educated people that play the lotto. That entire line was completely uncalled for and simply added in to make you feel better about the fact that you put yourself 20,000-70,000 dollars in debt by going to college. Doing manual labor does not make someone worse than someone who doesn’t. There are some manual labor jobs that make far more money than a 6 year degree can ever hope to. Overall a good list, but that one line was completely rude and uncalled for. Also the odds are far lower than a million to one.A million to one isn’t bad odds, but the odds are closer to 18 million to 1.

  • Andrew

    Wow. The intro is absolutely horrifying and disgusting. Reagan NEEDED those drugs, or his death would’ve been much, much more excruciating than it already was. You absolutely disgust me. Are you one of those hippies that believe the man is feeding us these prescription drugs just to get our money, and the only way to health is through herbal teas and all that bs? You make me sick. I hope one day you are in desperate need of these lifesaving drugs, and you will have to take them, and when you see that your life is saved, you will know the shame of what you have said about this. I feel bad for you. And I’m done with Listverse after reading this. The lists have become increasingly subpar anyways.

    • Werdna

      you’ll be back in time for the next list, don’t lie.

  • Nav005

    Since 50 billion minutes have been spent on facebook in the last month in USA alone, I guess it kicks all the other addictions in the crotch! And Youtube is addictive as hell too!!

  • Erik

    what about caffeine??

  • I actually take offense to #1. They are a legal addiction but most doctors do not “peddle” these medications. I’m offended that they are compared to drug dealers. They don’t make money when they prescribe medications. Most doctors hate prescribing oxycontin and other narcotics and avoid it at all costs. However there are times they are necessary such as after surgery or for broken bones. Most doctors I have worked for refuse to prescribe narcotics and instead refer them to pain management which teaches them ways to deal with their pain.

    • Addendum. I completely agree with prescription drugs being number one. It is a huge problem. I am just offended by saying doctors push these medications.

      • Rappaport

        Not ALL doctors do, but many do. Some laws have been passed in the United States concerning doctors actions in this regard and regulating their involvement with drug companies, but there’s lots of room for the unscrupulous to make money. Most recent independent trials have found statins to be minimally effective and extremely dangerous for most people, but doctors are still shoving them at you.

        And you can’t expect any help from the FDA. A great list would be the 10 Deadliest Decisions of the FDA, but it would take a second list to even begin to paint a true likeness.

  • mom424

    Not a bad offering – but – and it’s a fairly big but, was it really necessary to climb on the conspiracy/stereotype/big business band wagon? That was yesterday. Even in the intro; how exactly does the government profit from creating drug addicts? The drug companies maybe, but the government? No Way. Addiction costs the government in increased health care costs, increased welfare costs, increased police costs (crime rates rise where addiction is rampant). Those are direct costs, didn’t even mention the waste of a generation and all the things they’re not going to produce because they’re ruined. And really? Alzheimer’s medication on par with Oxys/Vicodin?
    Don’t know where you live but in Canada the gov’t is trying to discourage folks from smoking. Not only are our smokes expensive they’re also decorated quite nicely.


    For those trying to quit – don’t give up. I did it after smoking for 35 of my 49 years. Try Champix, the Patch, whatever. If I can do it, so can you.

  • diana

    I’m addicted to 4 of these. :( I think its time I went outside and soaked up some sunshine.

  • FlameHorse


  • undaunted warrior 1

    @ mom424 nice to see you back, Im going into theater in the morning – will chat again in 3 or 4 days time.

    I bet Canada is getting a wee bit nippy now

    • mom424

      Better not be anything serious. -_-

      Now I’m all worried.

  • Eanor

    The way that addiction is defined here means that anyone who needs a medication for their body to function as normal is addicted. Lame is right. Try telling this to someone who needs insulin, or lithium, or anti-allergy shots, or…..

  • Ben


  • … (Oxycontin is content-wise no different from heroine and consequently…

    Okay, I have to put a word in here about the attitude many people have towards those (i.e. *me*) who have to take Oxycodone (Oxycontin is simply a Brand Name for the drug Oxycodone) or any other schedule II drug.

    I have a very serious, very rare, and excruciatingly painful disease. I have had to take Oxy for 14 years now.

    What most people don’t understand is that those of us who are required to take such drugs on a daily basis for many years are *NOT* psychologically addicted to these drugs, and it is the psychologically addicted (drug addicts) who are the problem, who end up in a life of crime in order to have enough money to feed their habit. The drug addicts take these drugs for some sort of “high”, but to those who have to take the drug the “high” simply doesn’t exist. If you are taking, for example, Oxycodone because pf a medical need, then the drug hastens to the part of the brain controlling pain and blocks the pain signal. This means a chance at a fairly normal life, it *never* means a “high” or some sort of *fun*.

    Notice I said “…a chance at a fairly normal life…”, because the drugs do have a cost. They eliminate the ability to do some things most people consider normal:

    I haven’t driven in over 10 years. The last time I did drive I totalled 2 cars, neither of them belonged to me. I was driving a friend’s car and the traffic ahead of me stopped short, I didn’t have the necessary reflexes to react in time, plowing into the car ahead of me at speed.

    It is impossible for me to hold a job.

    My short term memory is shot.

    My ability to differentiate between reality and dream is sometimes limited.

    The drugs have caused me to suffer from central sleep apnea. My brain forgets to tell my body to breathe while I am asleep, a potentially fatal problem. I have to sleep attached to a machine which breathes for me.

    Why would anyone *want* to open themselves to the problems above unless it was absolutely required?

    I don’t have an answer to that, but I do know that the kind of attitude expressed in #1 leads even some in the medical field to look down on those of us who can’t lead even an approximation of a normal life without the drugs. Without Oxycodone I would, quite simply, have to kill myself…the pain is that bad.

    • mom424

      You know that I have no problem with prescription pain relief – for those who need it. In fact, I wish that heroin was legal, for folks like yourself. What difference does it make if you’re an addict; the condition that you have will last ’till the end of your life.

      The problem is with the irresponsible prescribing of such medication. That and poor controls at the manufacturing level. They are getting a handle on it – just not quickly enough.
      ps: how are you? and yours?

      • Everyone is doing fine, thanks.

    • Robert

      Soooooo??? Please don’t tell me I read all this for that unexplainable lack of a PUNCH LINE???!!! Gees, try to work on your act or it will never catch on!!! Not everyone likes this type of “nonsense” try at humour!! Perfect score for effort, though!

      • Humor?

        How do you get the idea this was an attempt at a humorous post?

  • Boogaloo

    “Stigmata” doesn’t mean what you think it means

  • The Ring Leader

    how about caffeine?

  • Ben

    Ryan, this is your worst list yet, and they have all been bottom of the barrel material. This time, you have combined terrible writing with your uninformed opinions, as usual, but you have also added a great deal of offensive material in it. You bring nothing to this site, stop writing and find a new hobby.

    • oldirtykoala

      So I take it you will be writing the part 2 of this list. Yes it helps when grammar and punctuation are of higher standard, but when a list can be thought provoking and even get people angry, then I say job done. All list are welcome in my mind, it is up too you which to read and which not to read, personally this is not my cup of tea,as i find the subject matter too broad, but being negative without being constructive is far worse then a badly written list. Why not offer some tips and advice, if that happened the site would continually deliver respectable lists that people of any education status could enjoy. Keep it up Ryan, I am sure that you will drop a bomb on us soon.

      • Ben

        No, I shan’t be writing a part two. First, the subject matter is so bland and laden with opinion, and it could also cover thousands of substances, activities and behaviours all across the world that could be described as ‘addictive’. Secondly, a reader doesn’t have to beome a writer to be entitled to his own opinion on a piece of text.

        As to your point about offering constructive feedback: search for all of Ryan’s lists and read them. They all feature heavy use of cynicism, opinions not backed up by facts, big words used incorrectly and terrible writing. It gets tiring. And to make it worse, commenters do offer advice and constructive feedback. But it doesn’t get anywhere, hence my advice above.

  • Erik

    Mine is Video Games.and Music :D

  • Lily

    who’s the guy in the cigarette picture?

    • Slappy

      I think it’s Keanu again. He sure seems to show up a lot around here.

  • Gred

    Also internet, caffeine, love, and sex.

  • jasonjw

    interesting list, but most of these, such as MMORPGs gambling and TV, aren’t addictions but compulsions, addiction means it caused a chemical change in the build up of the brain, but there’s no proof that any of those actually do that

  • I never did see the point in gambling, guess I’m just too cheap to throw my money away on a CHANCE of winning more.

    I’m not sure if prescriptions should be on the list as may people take them without having a valid prescription of their own, and it is illegal to take prescription drugs not prescribed to you.

  • Research much? Maybe I’ll submit a list of 10 obvious things that are obvious. Jeez.

  • Clocktower

    This was an incredibly poor list, it makes me wish we had some kind of quality control on this site.. Filled with paranoia, inaccuracies and spelling mistakes, good grief.

    Not to mention the fact certain comments don’t apply to most countries, where prescription drugs are free. Another prime example of why we see so many commenters calling lists “too American”.

  • Eddy Francis

    You missed out caffeine!!!

  • The old, rich, white males who own the world have their favorite drugs — nicotine, alcohol and caffeine — so those are legal. The young and poor people who prefer change to stability have their favorite drugs, so those are illegal. That gives the powers-that-be the chance to put them behind bars every so often, and better yet, to get the troublemakers into a computer database where the establishment can keep an eye on them

  • r

    yeah… mcds put chemicals into its products and manages to get away with this. this is lies, you have included an old wive’s tale… total lack of research for this list… not impressed.

  • August

    This list doesn’t strike me as particularly impartial. The writer condemned sex and alcohol, and made many references to exclusively “Christian” activism. The writer also used the term “Goliath” a Biblical allusion that turns sex, a normal human behavior, into a monster.

  • michael

    this list is 100% opinion, not one fact or interesting piece of information.

  • What’s with the people complaining that the things in the list are too obvious. What’s wrong with things being obvious? If there was a top 10 best hockey players … you’d complain if you saw Wayne Gretzky top the list?

    I expected smoking to be on the list because it IS obvious. If it wasn’t on the list, I’d have something to complain about.

  • Alison

    Okay list, but ugh at #7. Yeah, poor wittle multi-millionaires who chose to lead this lifestyle.

  • Chiara

    And human relationships?Aren’t they an addiction?

  • Circe

    I really hate lists like this that are nothing but the writer’s opinion. JFrater, I was originally interested in Listverse because of the well-researched lists that were both entertaining and informative. Some of the lists on this site still meet those criteria, but others, like this one, are just plain ridiculous. This list was not researched in any way, shape, or form, and it was not in the least informative. All it did was present the writer’s opinions of the worst addictions. How about some statistics? How about some studies? Would actual facts screw up the lister’s conspiracy theories about the healthcare industry? Honestly, I’m only making this comment to JFrater because I like the site and I’d really like to see it get back to what it was previously — fun and informative. I know I’m not alone in this. If we keep getting ridiculous articles like this one, your readership will drop.

    I also have to say that as a physician, I’m massively offended by the stupidity and ridiculousness of number one on this list. The statement that physicians are “drug-dealers in disguise” who are “[fabricating] new disorders, diseases, and conditions on a daily basis” shows a level of ignorance that belongs on conspiracy theory forums, not Listverse. The truth is that most physicians now are more reluctant than ever to prescribe narcotics, some to the point that they under-treat legitimate pain conditions (which is just as wrong as over-treatment). Not only that, but the majority of the newer treatments for chronic pain disorders are neither narcotic-based nor addictive. Indeed, the healthcare industry is attempting to find alternative treatments for such conditions so that patients’ lives are not disrupted by potential dependence or addiction issues.

    It irritates me to no end when people who are in no way connected with the healthcare field assume to know what goes on in a medical practice. There are a whole lot of problems with the healthcare industry (insurance companies, provider apathy, jadedness, access to healthcare, etc.), I won’t deny that. But the things written about in this list aren’t among them for the majority of physicians.

    JFrater, I realize that you can’t possibly write every single list published on this site, but please do a better job of quality control. If a list is filled with nothing but opinions and conspiracy theories with no facts to back up the author’s assertions, then reject it. The Listverse readers would rather have no list than a garbage list like this one.

    • @Circe / 16 Oct, 2011 …I also have to say that as a physician…

      Are you really? I would like to discuss something with you, in that case..

  • brook

    I’m quite surprised that you didn’t list “Internet’ as being the number 1 addiction…

  • Vagabond Sam

    While Gaming addiction is documented the stereotyped and misleading use of MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) is based on a staged video as already described and a stereotype which has little to do with the reality of average MMO players.

    This should address gaming as a whole as strategy and Shooter games have caused as much distress to the few who have become addicted to gaming as MMO’s.

    Also in Australia the average gamer is 25-32, male and works full time. We don;t live with parents, without work or responsibility.

    11 million Play World of Warcraft the biggest MMO out at the moment, yet you write as if all these are sad cases of people ‘unfathomably’ paying $15 a month to play a fantasy game.

    Compared to such a large sample size anti social tendencies linked to these types of games are no larger then any other activities that you might care to mention.


    [millions maintain a subscription to a network-based video game, and treat it as a second life, one in which they clock in more hours than in the actual world. Eat, sleep, energy drink, game: that is the complete life of many who’ve yet to leave their parents’ basement, ]

    is a horrific piece of writing. it infers all subscribers follow this pattern. I know many people who play games and none that fit this description.

    If you are going to write publically, please express yourself in a more measured and logical way. I don’t disagree that gaming can be an addiction, but I do disagree with your summation of one small facet of the gaming culture.

    • Tired

      Actually, it’s not bad writing. Your inference is bad. The listmaker claims that millions are deeply involved in these games. Out of the hundreds of millions who have played these games, that’s probably a reasonable estimate. You say the listmaker implied that ALL gameplayers are like this; that’s just a lie or a blatant misstatement since he never said any such thing. You seem to be basing your own judgment on the few gameplayers you know and assuming the other 100 million or so are all the same. Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous even to you?

      • Vagabond Sam

        The author states:
        ‘…millions maintain a subscription to a network-based video game, and treat it as a second life, one in which they clock in more hours than in the actual world’

        That sentence explicitly claims that the millions of subscribers all treat it as a second life ‘in which they clock in more hours than in the actual world’.

        It should read
        ‘…millions maintain a subscription to a network-based video game and there are those that treat it as a second life, one in which they clock in more hours than in the actual world’.

        By horrific writing my intent is to critisise the presentation of personal opinions as facts (i.e. ‘Millions of people play MMORPG’s more then they participate in Real life’ is an opinion and has no factual basis). The author is entitled to present a list of opinions but I learnt the hard way if you submit a list to Listverse you better use Journalistic intergity and well researched facts.

        Now, on to your ‘Facts’. The largest MMORPG is World of Warcraft. They, at this moment have 12 million subscribers. That is a generous estimate. Other games of this type are lucky to have more then 500,000 subscribers. Hardly likely to add up to ‘Hundreds of Millions’

        Now if it was reasonable to assume that Millions follow the stereotype the Author uses then wouldn’t it be resonable that I would have come accross this? I never claimed it was impirical data I was referring to. I clearly point out it was my experience. The Author did not even provide anecdotal evidence in this case so critisizing my use of anecdotal evidence seems trite.

        If you really want to defend these types of entries explain to me why YouTube is an acceptable source to cite. The entire premise of this point is anchored in this one hoax video.

        Again, I don’t disagree with the idea of Games being Addictive, however if any thought and time was put into researching the topic, plenty of real examples of the adverse effect it can have on people may have been explored.

        I feel the author could do better and pointed it out so perhaps they can do better next time.

        You seem to think they are perfect already. How will people grow without constructive critisism?

        • Tired

          It seems we agree there are people like those the author depicted; the only disagreement is in numbers. Out of the seven billion now alive plus the hundreds of millions that have dies since the first games, I’s say a few hundred million have played these games at one time or another. The authors’ estimate of those who became deeply involved with them, a few million, still sounds right. In your own case, you first said none of those in your acquaintance fit the mold; now you say some do. Leaving aside the blatant hypocrisy, what would be your guess as to how many have become deeply involved? A few thousand? A few hundred thousand? A million? About one percent? ‘

          Never mind how others will grow without constructive criticism. The question is: How will you?

  • Esteban

    The country’s name is “Colombia”, not “Columbia”. I’m sick of seeing this silly mistake being made everywhere.

    • YouRang?

      Maybe he meant the cartels of Columbia University? No? Okay. Colombia is a fairly small country with not much going for it and yet it shows up on Listverse constantly. I’m beginning to think the listmakers are going out of their way to include it just so they can misspell it. Seriously.

  • Vor

    The first two sentences didn’t make sense, so I didn’t bother reading it through. So Nancy Reagan tries to do away with illegal drugs so she should refuse legal and necessary (although sadly not too effective, even in this day in age) treatment for her husband’s Alzheimer’s? If I missed something, I apologize

  • Clarify

    Just wanted to clarify some of the comments I’ve seem regarding the difference between heroin and opiate painkillers:

    heroin is derived from the opium poppy. Opiate painkillers are derived from the same plant. Either “wax” is collected from the poppy (sap that seeps out when shallowly slicing the pod) or the dried pods are steeped in hot water, then solids filtered out, and then the water is evaporated. Both of these processes result in a raw opium base, which contains the 3 main naturally occuring opiates (morphine, codeine, thebaine).

    Next, for illicit producers or pharmaceutical producers, chemistry is used to turn the base into a more refined product. This refined product could be heroin, pharmaceutical morphine, oxycodone (percocet) hydrocodone (vicoden), hydromorphone (dilaudid), and
    at least a dozen more. As a former opiate addict and current chemist, I can tell you, completely factually, that the difference between heroin and vicoden (or any other pharmaceutical opiate) in terms of the molecules themselves, the molecules they become once in our bodies, the receptors in our brains they interact with, and. The effects they have, as well as addiction potential, are nearly identical. It is very scary knowing that most people who are prescribed these drugs have no clue what they are taking, really. And opiate is an opiate, the differences are subtle and quite insignifigant

    • Shawn in NC

      As a chemist you must know that small differences chemically can mean extreme differences in effects on a biological level. For example were one stereoisomer can cure the other can kill. So I respectively submit to you that small differences chemically can result in large differences in effect biologically. Also, you mention the main three components of raw opium and having similar effects once refined. I thought that thebaine had a stimulant effect while the others had a depressant effect. I think that is a significant difference.

  • YouRang?

    I don’t have a television of my own, but I can hear the news on my roommats tv. A lot of horrible things are going on, and many of them would have fit into some of our recent lists quite well. It may be time to present some “10 More…” lists. Race crashes, people held prisoner by psychos, it’s horrible.

  • catchick

    Wow… so I guess now I have to cut up all of my department store credit cards, turn off cable, cancel my subscription to Pogo games and People magazine, only shop with cash at Whole Foods, burn my deck of cards and stop visiting my online poker site, delete that Pamela Anderson video from my hard drive, pour my Jim Beam down the drain, throw away my ashtray and flush my Zoloft down the drain.

    Damn… now what am I gonna do for fun now?

    • Drac


      • catchick

        It’s a joke, fangman… chill out. ; D

        • Drac

          So was mine, cat. Like the icon. Is that the cat that was romanced by Pepe Le Peu?

          • catchick

            No.. this is PussyFoot … from the Warner Bro’s cartoons with Marc Antony, the dog. : D

          • Drac

            Oh, fantastic! Someone posted one of the Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot cartoons on a recent list. I love those!

  • Todesbringer

    What about money? Isn’t that an addiction? Every one needs/wants/yearns for more money… The government/people/corporations need money, from whatever … Isn’t that an addiction?

    • chershey

      I’m addicted to money, but I’m also addicted to food and shelter. We all need it, we all wish for more of it or better versions of it.

    • YouRang?

      For some, money and posessions are indeed an addiction. Sometimes you see such people wearing t-shirts that say, “He who dies with the most toys WINS.”

      But for others, like my roommate, the need to hang onto posessions is a disabling, horrible disease. Outside my bedroom there is a shelf that has about 75 cardboard tubes on it that once held paper towels or toilet tissue. Why he is saving those, I don’t know, other than it’s simply part of the disease.

  • gemlin

    here we see what appears to be a very angry writer who has obviously been wronged terribly by many of these things. apparently anyone who has any of these “addictions” is weak minded, has no social life and is uneducated. really? uneducated? how narrow minded and bigoted of you to assume that its only thick losers who get addicted to stuff, and this is coming from someone who has gone out of their way to create a list on a website probably with the hope of receiving praise from a group of people that they never have and never will meet. someone needs to take a long hard look in the mirror me thinks

  • Bruno

    there is help for addiction to porn

    no it isnt my site

    • The Chocolate QUIK Bunny

      Thanks to the asterisks I have no idea what you want to help people with, but it could be something they desperaely need to save their life. Now they won’t get that help because they don’t know what the anal you’re talking about. And they’ll die.

      I knew the asterisks were silly, but I didn’t realize they wee killing people.

      Seriously, you need to repost with words that won’t get censored.

  • chershey

    If the YouTube video referred to is the one I’m thinking of, (remote up the butt IIRC,) it’s staged. There are a number of mommy-took-away-my-WoW-I-want-my-SIPPY-CUP!!! videos out there, most being of the fictional persuasion.

  • MindOfaGenius

    I am a person who is “terminally wheelchair-confined” and I take offense to your paragraph on Television. First of all I am a person who USES a wheelchair, not confined by one. Second, wheelchair users don’t spend all day sitting in front of the television. That is a 1950s viewpoint. We are active members of this world. My tv is rarely on. I work, run errands, visit friends, go to physical therapy, take art classes, and volunteer. Does it sound like I’m some “invalid” stuck at home? Btw, I have congenital myopathy which is severe so even people with my level of disability can have full lives. Please re-evaluate your perceptions of people with disabilities. Thanks!

  • Sniz

    “veritable stigmata”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    I’d get into the oxycontin vs heroin thing too but someone covered that.

    Weakly written list…too much of a “government is out to get me maaaaaan” vibe than addressing addictions.

  • Lifeschool

    Out of all these I’m only addicted to item #2 – that’s not bad these days…

    • Lifeschool

      ..I mean, compared to all the ones I could have.. I guess I don’t have an addictive personality…

      • The Chocolate QUIK Bunny

        I’m certainly not addicted to it.

  • Bob X

    Chicken McNuggets have always been made of chicken… crappy throwaway parts of the chicken, to be sure, but they have never been made of ostrich. Nor have McDonald’s burgers ever been made of horse, or kangaroo, etc.

    Not because McD’s WOULDN’T do so… if it were cheaper, but all of these “alternative” meat sources are MORE EXPENSIVE than regular chicken/beef. Do the math. Don’t believe me? Check out Snopes.

  • This list had good potential, but fell short.. No caffeine? No salt? No sugar?

    • Drac

      Don’t touch my caffeine. Seriously. I WILL throw you through a wall.

      But… Good on the sugar, sqorpo. Perhaps the deadliest addiction of all. Good news: The addiction to the regular table sugar we’ve all known for so long is waning. We have Splenda and Stevia now. Incidentally, wouldn’t that be a great name for a singing duo?

      Oddly enough, as people are realizing the problems inherent in high-fructose corn syrup, they are searching for alternatives. Millions of people, just like me, are seeking out Pepsi and Coke that’s been imported from Mexico where they still make these drinks with real sugar. If you’re young, you may never have tasted these sugar drinks before. You should give them a try as the taste and texture are somewhat different. Of course, the best idea is to give up on all this crap and drink something that’s actually healthy.

      Just don’t drink too much of it. There’s some evidence that drinking 64 ounces of water per day, the amount recommended by many self-proclaimed nutrition experts, will kill your ass.

      • Shawn in NC

        Please o’ please show me one link to an article that states drinking 64 ounces of water per day will kill you. Who wrote that article? The carbonated drink r&d department?

  • JustCuriouslyLooking

    Thoughts about Caffeine? I do think that’s a horrible addiction plaguing the world. Have you tried to give it up after a good number of soda/coffee every day for years? Caffeine withdraws are horrible. I’m was rather surprised it did not make your list.

    • mom424

      Because Caffeine is good for you. Study after study has proven it. Unless you’ve a horrible heart condition, caffeine is a wonder substance. Helps to protect against alzheimers and other forms of dementia. Improves test scores, manual dexterity, quality of life. What’s the down side again?

      • Lifeschool

        The down side is that you get a drug high followed by a sharp ‘low’ about 30mins after consumption. My ex-wife used to go mad on Coffee, and would turn into a big green hairy troll when she couldn’t get her fix. Made my life hell. I had to plan our trips along a long line of coffee shops to keep her happy. Not good.

        I use Ginko Biloba extract – another natural source but with no known side effects – no high or lows – just a cumulative increase in brain function, mental dexterity, alertness and concentration. The extract will increase bloodflow to all parts of the body – and really helps with poor circulation and things like that. The only ‘down side’ to using Ginko is that it also stimulates the bloodflow to the s.exual organs – making you horny – but the s.ex it TERRIFIC!

      • Caffeine also improves the efficacy of many pain medications, including aspirin.

  • dot5421

    TBH Im addicted to shopping like spending money, junk food or just food in general!, and gossip not celebrities but friends and family. Also u forgot a big addiction caffeine!

  • eduardo jaramillo


    • Drac

      Have you noticed that no one ever misspells Nicaragua?

  • dustofstars

    You should try electronic cigarettes. They are helping me a lot. The e-juic comes in different flavors, and different levels of nicotine, from 30 mg to none at all. My favorite is called the e-go tank. You can get it at There’s a good e-juice called Cinnamon Red Hots at (they also sell the kits) It tastes like the candy. I just checked and it’s on sale this week for $10! They are usually $17 but they do 5 flavors a week on sale. I still have an occasional cigarette, but the electric really helped me stop buying packs. I switched over a year ago now!! I recommend not letting yourself smoke a real cigarette for at least 2 weeks to a month. I think it’s harder to transition if you still have the real thing to compare it to all the time. If the electric is all you have around to quell your craving, you will adhere to it much more. That’s what I did and then when I did finally succumb to smoke a real one, it was horrible. I found that I truly had begun to prefer the electronic over the smoke! Now I am fine with just my electronic, but the occasional cigarette with a friend still happens, unfortunately. I think in time it will die a natural death in my craving system. I hope so. You will learn to love all the positives of the electronic…smoking inside, yummy flavor, MUCH cheaper, etc. One bottle of e-juice is like $10-17 and lasts months, depending on how much you “smoke.” The kits are around $60 and everything in in lasts mostly indefinitely, except for the atomizers. They can get funky and not produce a good smoke after 4-6 months. But these are only $10-14 so its still cheaper than cigs. The batteries last as long as any other battery type product. Mine are still going after 6 months. (I’ve lost a few along the way, without the fire at the end of it, sometimes hard to keep up with it..for me.) I hope this helps you!! It’s a hard addiction to shake, I know, so anything that can help you even cut back on the gross smoke in your lungs with all those other chemicals, is worth it. It’s like a mini hookah! Clean, tasty, water vapor! Good luck!!

  • carlos

    Addiction to moderation: I saw this addiction firstly in my father, who was extremely prudent in life. Later I saw in another people. No drinking, smoking, but 50 years ago that was normal and he abandoned immediately cigarettes when he knew these were dangerous. He had astonishing will after smoking two- three packets of cigarettes a day during 30 years. Died 91 years old. He never drank.
    But died sadly. He and other persons as my father were strong to resist temptations, but never had an impulse to do something.A life a bit sterile. I never could see much virtue in some types of moderation, that I think surrounds the fear of life.

  • Ninjalou

    Ok – I think this a great list, but you took a low blow with the Alzheimer’s thing…smoking crack, and using (not abusing) medication for a legitimate disease are two different things.

  • Pocket Change


  • This list, author, and a lot of these comments about the government, certain illnesses and prescription medications are about the most inane I have ever read. Wait until you have someone you deeply love and care about develop one of these conditions or needs some medication to save their life. How entertaining that will be if it is their father, mother, son or daughter. It never ceases to amaze me how narrow minded, short sighted, obtuse, and limited certain individuals can be today!!

  • katyana

    she wanted to stop illegal drugs and the misuse of legal ones, not the ones that are meant to help. you’re thinking of Jenny McCarthy.

    Ryan, you are consistently biased and misinformed in your posts. it’s getting embarrassing.

    • katyana

      d r u g s isn’t allowed? all right then.

  • gigi

    Reading the list all I could think is “Fundie Conservative Alert”. Reagan being taken out of context, a generalized stab at entertainment (if people who criticized video games realized how many troops play while away from home, they’d shut up pretty fast), not mention of the fact that many addictions stem from underlying conditions (or in the case of tabaco, second-hand smoke). Overall, a poor list with about as much substance as a 4 year old declaring “Because I said so.”

  • Chris

    Biased list is biased.

  • fliplover

    Wow! Bitter much, Mr Thomas? Sounds like someone got busted for their herbal medicine…

    I’d have enjoyed this list MUCH more without the preaching.


  • Grace

    Oxycontin is a legitimate, effective medication for people in moderate to severe pain. If anything, pain is under-treated in this country. Doctors are not allowed to prescribe as they see fit.

    Attitudes like yours border on the barbaric. People are just meant to suffer. To what purpose?

    Who cares if some hillbillies, Rush et al get a little buzz by taking a high dose?

    Hyperbolic hype- pure and simple.

    People in pain do not take “heroine”.

    I could go at each “addiction” but why bother? You may not even recall what you fabricated here so fleeting, erroneous and trumped up are your OPINIONS.


    This is the shoddiest list I have ever seen- by far. I am disappointed, frankly.

    • @Grace …People in pain do not take “heroine”


      Unless they happen to be sex-addicts.

      • the word asterisked out was s_x, with an “e” between the s and the x. Pretty silly censoring.

        • Slappy

          Surely silly censoring saves psyches? Sensual statements sully sense? Strict censors serve society. Stop saying seditious stuff!

  • Natalia

    Colombia is misspelled and that’s my home country. Please fix it! I’ve seen it three or four times on this site.

  • Since the early 80’s my mom has been a victom of pain killers, I can remember when I was young most of are money went to drug dealers so their wasent much left for bills or stuff like clothes we were a ward of the state off & on till I was 18 then after years of seeing my mother struggle with her demons my brother at 23 only 2 years older than me took a leathel injection of heiroin at 21 I had to bury my brother, now after that I swore to myself I would live my life drug free sadely 5 years later im an addict, I have tried to stop but its so accessable pills are everywhere and so many willing doctors evan with no insurance now that I want rehab no one will see me with no insurance unless court orderd but im not a criminal can anyone give me some advice?

    Joan Sura Wilson

    • Too bizarre!

      You complain that your mother was a victim

      ( victom sic.) of prescription pain killers, let us know your brother took a deadly overdose, tell us *you* are an addict, then give the website of an (your?) on.line drugstore!!!

  • Skatejunky20

    I know this a list of addictions but to call Hugh Hefners work tasteless and lurid is nonsense. You won’t see anything except a pair of tits in his magazines…besides that great list.

  • Lia

    Celebrity gossip should be replaced by caffeine.

  • Kennoth

    My life would suck even more without porn, so bugger off.

  • brian

    It’s “Colombia” not “Columbia” ( that’s the second time I made this correction).
    Only drugs can be addictive. The rest of these are compulsions. The term addiction gets tossed around too much these days.

  • One of the greatest tragedies of the world – the glamorization of cigarette smoking.

  • laura

    I’m sorry but it’s ColOmbia with an O

  • Hammer

    Really surprised coffee isn’t on here. Or meat for that matter.

  • Katie

    The way people who are addicted to prescription drugs obtain these drugs are generally illegal or immoral. They either lie to doctors or see multiple doctors, or they steal the drugs from other people. For this I wouldn’t put it as number one.

    Everything else can be obtained without needed to lie or steal.

  • Up until 1927, Heroin was legal at most drugstores AND it was over the counter. Its deadly addiction forced the FDA to make it illegal to possess. However there was a drug (or an elixir, if you will) about a substance called a “Brompton Cocktail” that was developed in 1896 by a doctor from The U.K. It contained the following : Morphine and/or Heroin, Cocaine, Highly pure ethyl-alcohol Thorazine and chloroform along with a cherry flavored syrup to mask the bitter taste as it was taken orally. It was for patients who were in the late stages of Tuberculosis and Cancer to help ease the physical pain of the disease just prior to death. As of today, it has been known to be still used. But that’s one powerhouse of a concoction if you ask me !!!!

  • How about Masturbation ????

    • They would delete my comment (no surprise there). Let me make it more politically correct. Sexual self gratification. Are you guys and gals happy now ??

      • O.K. I have been deleted again. How about “Choking Your Chicken” !!!

  • sunnz

    I would say games are more addictive than celebrity gossip.

  • How about people who are addicted to watching Professional Wrestling and believing that its all real !! And some go to the point of budgeting themselves for these pay-per-views at $50.00 a whack. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but I used to work as a stagehand for famous rock groups, children’s shows, plays, orchestras, etc. I did it for 3 years and did work on 4 wrestling events. A few hours prior to the doors opening for these desensitized people (the audience). I would watch these guys rehearse their moves inside the ring. The so called bad guys (heels) and good guys mingling with each other and eating together and all were very nice and approachable people. If only they could see the backstage area, it would change their minds completely. And Professional Wrestling cannot be considered a sport but entertainment because the outcome of the wrestling matches are already predetermined !!

  • Amanda

    diet coke should be on there

  • Katie

    HELLOOOO. Coffee. The world’s favorite drug (behind all the illegal ones.)

  • Berto

    How about surfing the web? That is a big one that people do. “Facebooking” is starting to be come an addiction for many people.

  • Maddddddddie

    What about caffeine!!!

  • Katie

    You’d think music would be on here?

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  • Megan

    I disagree with the point about fast food being cheaper than homemade food. When I was in college, I was really broke. I couldn’t afford to eat out. It made me feel awful everytime I heard on the news or in articles about fast food and junk food being so much cheaper than healthy foods. I literally could not afford a $3 Happy Meal. Convenience foods are faster to prepare and faster to eat. However, that convenience comes with a higher sticker price. A comparable meal at home- 2 oz of meat I bought on sale and cooked myself on whole wheat bread plus a small baked potato is MUCH cheaper that a kid’s fast fod meal. Dried beans are ridiculously cheap. Buying produce IN SEASON is cheap. Farmer’s Markets are super cheap. My $5 slow cooker (purchased during a Black Friday sale) makes meals so easy. Throw stuff in there, leave for work, dinner is done by the time I get home.

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