Alcohol abuse and alcoholism kill over three million people each year and drug overdose deaths are up 30%. But one addiction expert said it's not a drug or alcohol problem, it's a mental health problem and all addictions need to be addressed that way.
"People have not realized how much they're drinking, how much they're taking Xanax, how much they're abusing opioids, how much Ambien they're taking to sleep," explained Adam Jablin, who's a life coach and an addiction expert.
And Jablin said addiction can come in many different forms.
"You can go gambling. You can go shopping. You can go eating. You can go over-exercising, and on and on. It all is a symptom. It's a symptom of mental health," he said.
Jablin warned that you have to identify your problematic behavior first, before you can start dealing with the mental health aspect of what's causing it. Otherwise, you'll keep abusing whatever it is that's keeping you numb.
"You're abusing a behavior to the point that all of a sudden you lose control of that behavior, that behavior's controlling you. That's an addiction. So just have the courage to talk about this with somebody,'' he suggested.
And once you begin your recovery process, Jablin said you need to find ways to lift your spirit.
''Well, you can pray. You can meditate. You can journal and see what is going on in the mind. You can exercise, hydrate, do a random act of kindness every day,'' he said.
And if you're struggling in your life right now, Jablin recommends listening to that message because it's most certainly a sign.
''There's a reason that you're stuck. There's a reason that you feel hopeless. There's a reason you feel helpless. And sometimes we all just need that little bit of help to find the way out. And then your life starts,'' he added.
If you or someone close to you needs help with a substance use disorder, talk to your doctor or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.