Writers take to drinking, and musicians and actors basically prefer anything they can get their hands on. And there are a lot of different drugs to choose from. Some help you keep going, some will give you tiger blood and turn you into a rock star warlock from Mars. Whatever your drug of choice, when it spirals out of control, there’s usually a tear filled intervention, rehab, the long road to recovery and a successful TV show.
And whatever your addiction, the first step to overcoming it, is admitting that you have a problem. You have to stand up and say “Hello, I’m Charlie Sheen and I’m addicted to basically everything that’s on the market.” But for some people, everything on the market is just not enough. They take their addiction to new and strange places, baffling therapists and doctors alike. The main question friends and loved ones will be asking these people at interventions, is not “why are you destroying your life?”, but rather just a head scratching “why?”
#10 – Air Freshener
Meet Evelyn, a twenty something miracle of evolution from Missouri. In her quest for trying new and adventurous things, she tried inhaling air freshener, survived and turned it into a full blown addiction. Her abuse started three years ago, when she walked past an automatic air freshener and thought to herself “why not?”
Fresh linen is her favorite flavor and she goes through 20 cans a week, spraying the good stuff into her mouth up to 50 times daily. In Evelyn’s experience, cinnamon doesn’t really taste like cinnamon and apple crisp tastes like dirt. Her fiance, also not the sharpest tool in the shed, is pretty understanding about it, saying “I’m pretty sure it’s unhealthy, and if you look at it, it says flammable. It’s nasty and disgusting, but she loves it and I love her, so I just have to deal with it.”
#9 – Funerals
Most people don’t like to attend funerals altogether, but Luis Squarisi from Brazil is actually addicted to them. For the past 30 years, this guy has attended every funeral ever held in the small town of Batatais. He even gave up his job, because it got in the way of his habit of funeral crashing.
You might think his addiction is not that time consuming, but you’re wrong. Every single day, Luis turns on the radio and reads the obituaries to find out if anyone has kicked the bucket. He even goes as far as calling hospitals and funeral homes. It’s more than a little creepy, but the locals don’t seem to mind at all. Luis has been to every funeral since 1983, so he’s a pretty familiar face. In fact, the locals don’t even consider it a proper funeral if Luis hasn’t shown up.
#8 – Bricks
Getting high on your own supply is really easy when you’re a construction worker, and your drugs of choice are brick, gravel and mud. When Pakkirappa Hunagundi from India is not busy cementing walls, he’s busy eating them. And when you work outside all day, you’ll develop a healthy appetite, resulting in the daily consumption of about 7 pounds of building material.
Pakkirappa suffers from what’s called Pica, which makes you want to eat the things that are generally considered by sane people to be inedible. He’s been munching gravel and gnawing on walls for over 20 years and, miraculously, he’s still alive and still has all his teeth. But even though an exclusive diet of debris is very cheap, it’s not going to make you look healthy or younger, considering the guy in the photo is only 30 years old.
#7 – Loving the Sausage
David, an accountant from London really loves the sausage. And no, that’s not a double entendre. His love for wieners can be taken as literal as possible. He eats about 13 of those greasy goodies a day, for every meal, since he was 5 years old. His addiction costs him around $1000 a year and he’s 47 now, so we’re looking at a total of $42.000 spent on wieners.
When his wife suggested something different for dinner one day, in his own words, David “went a bit mad by the prospect of it”. Since that fateful day, he has taken steps to escape from the clutches his addiction and avoid further domestic violence, spending $3000 on therapy, including hypnotherapy. But so far, nothing has worked for David and the sausage industry is still thriving.
#6 – Carpet Munching
Sticking to very suggestive double entendres, this addiction can also be taken in the most literal sense of the word. Jessica Knight will eat your carpet and just about every other piece of household furniture while she’s at it. She’s only 4 years old and even though she looks cute and innocent, she’s a raging addict.
She has already had her first intervention, not too long ago, when her mother noticed a series of biting marks on the faux leather chair. In classic addict behavior, Jessica denied all allegations and became very secretive, nursing her addiction in shame and in the dark. And even though Jessica’s addiction has spun out of control since, doctors refuse to help her until she turns six. In an attempt to curb the addiction, her mother gave Jessica a little pouch with bits of furniture to help with the cravings.
#5 – Coke of the Diet Kind
When Jakki Ballan started to put on a little weight as a teenager, her doctor suggested to switch from regular to diet coke. And that set her on a path to addiction, lasting 30 years and still going strong. She guzzles down three cans per waking hour, totalling 30 cans every day and spends almost $10.000 a year to get her daily fix.
If you’re wondering what that ridiculous amount of caffeine and artificial sugar does to the brain, well, apparently it makes you trip balls. Jakki has admitted to seeing oranges flying across the room on many an occasion. But when the trippy visuals start to fade and her supply is running low, it’s not a pretty sight. Jakki starts shaking and sweating, and pacing around the room before the panic really sets in.
#4 – Exposing Private Parts
More often than not, an addiction (whether it’s hitting the bottle or huffing paint in a dark alley), starts as a coping mechanism to escape the realities of daily live. When John Lyons wants to get away from the daily stress of being a grandpa, he exposes himself to people. John has been ‘coping’ since 1968 and got himself arrested about ten times.
Whenever John gets stressed out, the addiction kicks in and he has the uncontrollable urge to show his Johnson to whoever happens to be walking by. His wife, who left him after the tenth conviction, turned out to be part of the problem. She told the judge she was “fully aware of the problem” and made sure his habit was kept “well away from our home”, so she could cook dinner in peace while John roamed the streets and playgrounds.
#3 – Gasoline
For some people, a tall, fresh glass of beer is a gateway drug. It leads to stronger and stronger booze, until it spirals out of control. And the real hardcore drinkers (the ones who can’t get their kicks from aftershave or cleaning alcohol anymore) turn to gasoline. Like for example Robert Stephens, who frequently enjoys his vintage 95 unleaded.
Robert is also on the upper end of social drinking, and it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, so he can frequently be seen staggering the streets midday, cursing like a sailor and attempting to woo the ladies with disturbingly descriptive invitations. He’s only 23, but so far this guy managed to rack up a whopping 44 minor convictions. When he’s not sleeping it off in a jail cell, he can be found at the nearest gas station, giving eloquent public speeches and revealing his privates.
#2 – Heavy Metal
Roger Tullgren, a 42 year-old from Sweden, just can’t stop rocking out and banging his head to his favorite hard rocking tunes. He visits over 300 concerts a year and listens to metal albums all day and every day, while dressed in full Satan worshipping attire. Roger can’t hold on to a job if his life depended on it, because he compulsively has to blast metal on full volume, see his favorite bands live during office hours and just won’t show up wearing a tie or a safety helmet.
And here’s the real kicker: his biggest enabler is the Swedish government. He’s a certified addict, entitled to disability benefits and his employers have to make sure he’s able to blast metal on full volume while working. Roger is currently somewhat employed as a headbanging dishwasher, if he bothers to show up that is.
#1 – Cats
This gal from Detroit, MI, will trump any addict or crazy cat lady out there. Her out of control cat addiction is not about owning 5 cats per square foot and working three jobs to keep up with the catnip supply and demand. She just cleans them, on a very, very regular basis, with her tongue, coughing up hairballs in the process.
Lisa is a self-professed cat hair eater, consuming three quarter-sized balls of hairy goodness a day, for the past 15 years. She compares the texture to eating cotton candy. The taste? Probably whatever the cat happened to be rolling in. Most people go to the corner store for their choice snacks, but Lisa just scavenges for stray hairs on the rug or the couch. But, as she puts it herself, the best and freshest hairs come straight from the cat.