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Most people don’t consider that positive aspects of all addictions. In other words, all addictions are solving a problem, help people feel better (even if it’s just for a minute) & help people (temporarily) get away from the constant pressures of life.  Everyone knows about the disadvantages of addictions; illnesses, loneliness, costs, rehab, therapies & despair.  

The Top 10 Most Common Addictions and Note: You can never get enough of something that you don’t really need:

  1. Gambling, Shopping & Money
  2. Anger & Judgment
  3. Food
  4. Internet & phone
  5. Sex
  6. Alcohol & Drugs
  7. Nicotine & Smoking (including cannabis)
  8. Work & Social Status
  9. Low Self-Esteem, Depression & Anxiety
  10. Relationships

People can get addicted to anything!  A hole inside (emotionally) drives the need to fill that hole or at least stuff it down.  The problem is that this only works for a very short amount of time before more is required.  That’s why people say addictions are like a dog chasing its tail. You run, catch, get, lose it & then  do it all over again.

Unfortunately, addictions cause additional problems and these can include lung cancer, financial ruin, obesity, immune system breakdowns and we are still learning about all the negative side effects of each of the options.
The main reasons people get addicted to everything from prescription medication to street drugs to food, gambling and sex are to manage their own anxiety, depression, emotional and sexual histories, fears along with  self-judgment.  The easiest way to understand how you and the people you know will or won’t get  addicted is to answer these 10 questions from the ACE Study that was developed by 2 of my colleagues that are also friends; the Co-Principal
Investigators, Vincent Felitti, MD and Rob Anda, MD.

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.
There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.
The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

Prior to your 18th birthday:
Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
No___If Yes, enter 1 _
Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?                                                                                                      No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Did a household member go to prison?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score
I have been on the treatment side, and continue to be, of the ACE Study since it was first begun. 
I have successfully worked with hundreds of participants individually and thousands more with my mobile text support that is now available at