A look at addiction from a Google Trends perspective
With the opioid epidemic being declared a public health crisis, the problem of addiction in the United States has come under increased scrutiny. From sex to drugs and alcohol, this problem of addiction continues to cause pain and destroy lives.
Each state has its own personal issues, with more national problems becoming more evident as we look at the data from the perspective of the whole. Here are some of the different categories and specific addiction problems where individuals, on a massive scale, are searching for more information.
Pornography Addiction | Sex Addiction | Opiate and Heroin Addictions
Alcohol Addiction | Meth and Adderall Addictions | Nicotine Addiction
Crack and Cocaine Addiction | Food and Sugar Addiction
Social Media, Facebook, and Other Technology Addictions
Gambling Addiction | Marijuana Addiction
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The most searched for addiction on this list, pornography addiction, continues to be discussed and debated. While not currently listed in the DSM-5 as a real addiction, many argue that pornography addiction is a major problem.
Whether or not pornography addiction is truly regarded by scientists and psychologists as a true “addiction,” the massive volume of those searching this topic shows how relevant and widespread the idea of pornography addiction become.
Following similar trends as pornography addiction. Sex addiction continues to garner massive attention. Also not listed in the DSM-5, sex addiction, as an addiction, continues to be a very controversial and hotly debated topic.
With such massive search volume, sex addiction is one of the most popular and growing subjects on the web today. Is this a topic of search out of sheer interest, or is there really a high volume of individuals interested in medical advice on this topic?
Opiate and Heroin Addictions
- Washington D.C.
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
With the United States declaring the opioid crisis an emergency, it is no surprise that opiates, and opiate related searches, are among the highest on this list.
The most surprising anecdote here is the variety of opiate related searches. Five differing and unique opioid medications were all found among the data (Tramadol, Vicodin, Methadone, Percocet, and Hydrocodone). This shows the true strength of this problem as individual states have differing substances within the same addiction category.
Along with this diversity in prescription medications, four states were among the top popularity for opioid addiction and three states for heroin addiction.
All of these drugs fall into the same category of opiates, helping to confirm the true reality of the problem we face in the United States.
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Alcohol addiction continues to be a topic of concern around the United States. Alcohol, being legal, may not garner the same national attention that opiate addiction is currently receiving, but this does not make the problem any less prevalent.
Meth and Adderall Addictions
Surprisingly, meth addiction did not have the search volume that we expected. Adderall addiction, by volume, was similar to meth addiction on a national level.
Although the problem of meth addiction still exists today, it does not seem that this addiction is as prominent in the minds of those living in the United States today.
- New York
Search volume on Nicotine, cigarette, vape addictions still attract a high volume of web searches. A simple search of “quit smoking” still brings a high volume, however, those searching for more broad information on these addictions, though still relatively high, were not on the same level as other addictions on this list.
Crack and Cocaine Addiction
We expected crack addiction to make this list. And, no surprise, the homeland of the crack epidemic, California, came in strong on the list. This just shows how strong addiction can be and how long an addiction can actually take to be controlled once it has taken root.
California is still evidently searching for ways to learn about and deal with crack addiction even decades after the crack epidemic of the 1980s.
Food and Sugar Addiction
Food, sugar, and surprisingly cheese addiction were among the results found during this study. Food addiction and sugar addiction continue to be a highly searched topic in the United States.
Social Media, Facebook, and Other Technology Addictions
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
Among the more technology-based addictions, Social Media, Facebook, and Cell Phone addiction made this list of highly searched addiction topics. As these addictions get more attention, it will be interesting to see whether this trend continues.
And with some rehab facilities now offering treatment for these addictions, the interest in these topics is sure to grow, especially with a new generation being raised with access social media platforms that may create problems that no previous generation has dealt with before.
Gambling addiction is still a problem that has a large amount of interest surrounding it. In states like Nevada and Louisiana, which rank among the top gambling states in the nation, the attention and interest in gambling addiction is still prevalent.
Possibly a more recent development, the interesting fact here is that two states who have recently legalized Marijuana—Oregon and Washington—ranked highest for search volume surrounding Marijuana addiction.
As Marijuana becomes more legalized, accepted, and popular, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues to grow as one would expect.