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Why do we become addicted to things?

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As many people probably know, most of us aren’t born with an addiction.

So, how do people become addicted to something, anyway?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently delved into this topic, and officials said addiction ultimately begins with experimentation, but also involves a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors.

The leading cause of addiction, officials say, is genetics. Simply put, it can be something parents, grandparents or great-grandparents have passed down through generations. Environmental factors play a significant role, as well.

Opioid abuse has been on the rise in recent years, to put it mildly. As for the top 10 most common addictions, you might be surprised by what made the list -- and in what order. Check it out: Group breaks down top 10 most common addictions

Recognizing the problem

Addiction is more common than many people realize. Some people don't even recognize that they have an issue. Discussing addiction is especially important because it often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Do you have a loved one who might land on the spectrum? SAMHSA encourages people to seek medical attention, and not self-diagnose.

For more information on opioid abuse, check out our in-depth coverage of the opioid epidemic, and what we can do about it.


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