America: A Nation of Addicts
Synopsis: The United States is becoming an addict nation, with Americans capable of becoming addicted to anything from plastic surgery to texting. Our justice system prefers to spend untold millions of tax dollars: sealing off the crime scene, forensics testing, offering rewards, arresting the suspect, holding news conferences, going to trial, and then locking up, feeding, clothing and guarding the convicted criminal - rather than spend a tiny sliver of that cost preventing the crime in the first place. This addictive mindset is a crime in itself. Will the American people "hit bottom" on these cultural addictions and change? Do we really want a nation filled with citizens who are overwhelmingly obese, drug addicted, hooked on sex, criminally minded or drowning in debt?
The United States is becoming an "Addict Nation." Americans are capable of becoming addicted to virtually anything, from plastic surgery to texting. Here are the top 5 vices according to sober TV host Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Sex, drugs, booze. We're all familiar with the obvious addictions. But, here is a list of America's Top 5 Addictions according to best-selling author of Addict Nation, Jane Velez-Mitchell:
Prescription Pill Addiction
There's a growing trend in America to try to solve all manner of discomfort, real or imagined, physical or emotional, with a pill.
Pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium fill our medicine cabinets, and it's killing us.
Nationwide, deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the second-leading cause of accidental death, behind car accidents. In some states, prescription O.D.'s are the leading cause of accidental death.
Millions of Americans have been self-medicating ourselves with fat and sugar for so long it has become a standard of living. As a result, our country is suffering from a mind-blowing obesity crisis.
Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. It would be safe to say obesity is our nation's biggest health issue and reports show this epidemic impacts every facet of our lives from health care to global warming.
We're fat! Our kids are fat! And, it's making us miserable, sick, unattractive and costing us a fortune.
Addiction to Crime and Punishment
What's surpassed baseball as our #1 national pastime? Crime.
America's extreme fixation on violence and murder has reached epidemic proportions, and it is hurting us emotionally and financially.
Our justice system prefers to spend untold millions of tax dollars: sealing off the crime scene, forensics testing, offering rewards, arresting the suspect, holding news conferences, going to trial, and then locking up, feeding, clothing and guarding the convicted criminal... rather than spend a tiny sliver of that cost preventing the crime in the first place. This addictive mindset is a crime in itself.
Addiction to Shopping
While buying something that you actually need is not addictive shopping, American culture has played a shell game with us, creating all manner of artificial needs that are really not needs at all.
New cars, tech gadgets, baby showers, and the ever-growing number of holidays are opportunities to enforce the rules of the cult. You need to buy more. Shockingly, the United States accounts for about 5-percent of the world's population and almost one third of global consumption.
As we shop our way into massive debt as a nation, the freight train of overconsumption is only accelerating.
Addiction to Technology
The book Addict Nation suggests Cyber addiction is perhaps the most complex societal contagion America is facing today because the nature of the Internet is all encompassing. There is email, texting, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google, Yahoo, iTunes, and innumerable chat rooms.
The Internet also acts as a porthole for other addictions like online gambling and porn, making it easy to score with a simple "click."
Will the American people "hit bottom" on these cultural addictions and change? Do we really want a nation filled with citizens who are overwhelmingly obese, drug addicted, hooked on sex, criminally minded or drowning in debt?
The Choice is Ours
Addict Nation tackles the issue of cultural addictions, and promises to shine a light on those who would profit from our misery.
The book promises a blueprint for change, but first we must see what is really going on. Addict Nation is an intervention!
About the Author
Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning television journalist and author. She currently has her show on HLN, "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell." She is often seen commenting on high-profile cases for CNN, TruTV, E!, and other national cable TV shows. Velez-Mitchell is an environmentalist, "out" lesbian, animal protection advocate, vegan, and recovering alcoholic with over 15 years of sobriety.
Sandra Mohr is the co-author of "Addict Nation-An Intervention for America" by Jane Velez-Mitchell. She also assisted Velez-Mitchell with her books "Secrets Can Be Murder" and "iWant" (New York Times Best Seller).
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