Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!


Addiction can come in many shapes and sizes. Learn about the different types of addiction and how to help yourself or others.

Can nasal sprays be addictive?

Nasal decongestants help many of us get through the workday while we're sick. But why would they be addictive?

How Sugar Addiction Works

If you can't make it through the day without a piece of chocolate, are you addicted to sugar? The jury's out on whether sugar addiction is truly an addiction, but there are ways anyone can become less dependent on the other white stuff.

Can body modifications be addictive?

Addiction manifests in many different ways. Substance abuse, compulsive gambling, shopping addiction -- but is it possible to become addicted to tattoos or piercings? Find out the psychology behind addiction and body modification.

10 Myths About Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction are huge problems throughout the world. Yet many dangerous myths persist about addicts – no, they don't have to hit bottom before getting help. And they're not all weak-willed.

Is fast food addictive?

The idea of food addiction is relatively new, but researchers say the struggle is real — especially when it comes to greasy, delicious fast food. So what's the science behind those cravings?

Addictive Disorders and Dependence

Substance abuse, dependency and other addictive behaviors affect the lives of millions of Americans. Read this guide about addictive disorders and dependence.

10 Strange Addictions

What strange addictions are some people compelled to do? Learn about 10 strange addictions here.

7 Ways Addiction is Diagnosed

There's no exact equation to figure out how someone becomes an addict. But here are seven indicators that your loved one may be struggling with addiction.

5 Signs of a Shopaholic

Lots of people love to shop -- it's fun to get shiny new things. But when does your shopping habit qualify as a problem?

Dealing with Addiction While Pregnant

Discovering that you're pregnant while battling addiction is scary, but you're not alone. Find out how to get the help that you and your baby need.

How do you know when someone is an addict?

It's not always easy to tell when someone you know and love is becoming a drug addict or alcoholic. Learn more about how you can know when someone is an addict in this article.