Addictions: from tobacco to synthetic drugs

We talk about addiction when we can no longer do without a product or behavior, despite the severely deleterious effect of the object of dependence on his health or his social life.

There are many addictions that differ in their nature, but also in their degree of "dangérosité". Also, depending on their nature and status, these "drugs" are more or less accepted by society.

Warning: it is not because a drug is tolerated and integrated into the daily life of our society that it is not dangerous. This applies in particular to more and more banal substances such as alcohol or tobacco.

All kinds of addictions can exist, be they related to substances:

  • tobacco addiction
  • addiction to alcohol
  • addictions to drugs such as: cannabis, cocaine, synthetic drugs ...
  • drug addictions

... or behavioral order:

  • addiction to games,
  • addiction to sport (bigorexia)
  • Internet addiction (cyberaddictions)
  • sexual addictions,
  • addiction to work, ...

or eating disorders.

Increasing addictions

Today new addictive behaviors are emerging: increased alcoholism among young people, particularly with the "binge drinking", but also the trivialization of cocaine, addictive behaviors without substance such as addiction sexual, or poly-addictive behaviors.

In France, addictions to psychoactive substances cause approximately 100, 000 deaths each year, including nearly 40, 000 cancers. Addictive behaviors occur in 30% of early mortality (before 65 years).

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death. It kills nearly 6 million people each year worldwide.


Communication campaigns, the laws prohibiting smoking in public places, the sharp rise in the price of tobacco in recent years ... have led to a drop in consumption. Yet the most addicted smokers seem little concerned.

In 2014 there was a decrease in tobacco consumption and a stable prevalence with 34% of smokers in France.
The amount of smoked tobacco is also slightly down, from 11.9 to 11.3 cigarettes per day (but this trend is not confirmed in daily smokers).

And at the young? While daily consumption before the age of 14 is still rare, more than four out of ten young people aged 17 report having used tobacco in the past 30 days (2014 figure) *. Also, daily use continues to increase between 2011 and 2014 in this age group.

In 2010, the annual number of deaths attributed to smoking was estimated in France at 78, 000.

Should we also mention the high risk of dependence and the many negative effects of tobacco consumption? Probably not, but remember that tobacco acts directly on vascular, respiratory and digestive function. In addition, it is the cause of chronic obstructive bronchitis and some cancers ...

How much are you addicted to tobacco?

The Fagerström test, used by doctors and pharmacists, assesses tobacco dependence. So, are you addicted to tobacco? Take the test to find out!

Read also :

  • Stop smoking: when and how?
  • Anti-smoking consultations. It's for you ?
  • Tobacco: Are you sure you know everything?
  • And the electronic cigarette?


Even though we consume less alcohol than before (the share of 15-75 year-olds who drink alcohol daily went from 24% in 1992 to less than 10% in 2014), France remains a major consumer of alcohol. alcohol, and especially wine.

Alcohol consumption is - after tobacco - the second leading cause of preventable death *.

Alcohol consumption figures are particularly worrying for young people: from 2005 to 2014, the percentage of 18-25 year-olds who were drunk during the year fell from 33% to 46%, and the share of those in having known at least three has almost doubled.

It should be known that alcohol consumption is responsible for 49, 000 deaths from cancer, cirrhosis, psychosis and alcohol dependence *.

Alcohol: addict or not?

When alcohol consumption becomes excessive, it can become a real addiction. And you, are you addicted alcohol? Take the test to find out!

Read also :

  • Alcohol and young people
  • Alcohol and young people: what can parents do?
  • Addiction to alcohol: how to cure it?
  • Calculate your blood alcohol level!

* Figures from INPES = National Institute for Prevention and Health Education

You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? Appointment in our FORUMS Dependencies, Psychology or A doctor answers you !

Read also :

> Addictions: how to get out?
> Substance Abuse: Symptoms and Treatments
> All about addictions

Dr. Nicolas Evrard
Dr. Laurent Karila, Psychiatrist - Addictologist, Author of the book "Ideas Received on addictions" editions le Cavalier Bleu. (Chapter: "New drugs on the web." Date: April 3, 2017)

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