Oxford Dictionary defines addiction as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. However, that still leaves a lot of confusion. So, taking it one step further, it is the physical and mental dependence on a particular substance or activity.
Is every addiction bad? An addiction is bad when it compromises your health, mental, financial and physical well-being. Going to the gym on a regular basis is good for you; however, going to the gym everyday and working out until you collapse is not healthy. Having a glass of wine with dinner every night is reportedly not a bad thing; however, having a bottle of wine with dinner every night is not healthy.
It is when one becomes excessive in the use of something that we see how addiction really takes a toll. The initial high from one drink or one hit or one hour at the gym quickly fades, forcing one to require more alcohol, more drugs or more time at the gym to get that same euphoric feeling.
Hidden beneath this addictive behavior lies the question, “Why does one need to drink, do drugs, exercise excessively, gamble, or whatever vice to cope with their daily life?” Perhaps if that question is answered, the addiction would lose its appeal. Yet, that may seem too simplistic. I have read that the subject of addiction is complex; yet, I think sometimes we would benefit from keeping things simple. I understand the physiological changes that occurs from an addiction can make it difficult to quit; however, I still believe that it can be done with the proper help.
Let’s take alcohol addiction. Alcohol is readily available, and most people do not think of alcohol as a drug; however, alcohol is a drug. Some people can have one drink and walk away, while others become hooked to the depressant effects of alcohol. Why?
Initially I think it is a matter of choice. Rather than address what’s bothering you, you choose to escape your reality by clouding your mind with alcohol. Sadly, when the alcoholic haze wears off, your problems are still there to greet you. Soon, it requires more and more alcohol to get the same effect. Then you start adding other substances to get that same high, that same oblivion to reality. The result, an increasing rate of drug overdose; yet, despite the horrifying statistics, people are still abusing drugs.
A better solution would be to figure out what is bothering you, what is making you so unhappy that you need such an escape. You may need the help of a professional; however, I am convinced that everyone can break free of the bonds of addiction. It is not easy; however, IF you want to be free of your addiction you can be.
The question though is, “Do you really want to be free of your addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex, shopping or whatever vice you are addicted to?”
Spare a thought for the family members who suffer as they watch their loved ones destroy their lives because of an addiction; or are verbally and/or physically abused by their loved ones.