Addiction is a scary word.
Don’t believe me? Try this three second exercise by saying the following out loud (regardless if it is factual),
“I struggle with an addiction.”
That just feels weird rolling off the tongue, but why?
Well for starters, every time you say …the A word… a picture comes to your mind.
Maybe it’s a picture one might find in an investigative documentary of a crack head selling their bodies for Ice.
Or a family member who is habitually drunk.
Perhaps you have been watching Intervention, or My Strange Addiction, and then Lord only knows what images come to mind.
The point is that Addiction is no longer a word that is allowed to have its own definition, but rather life has defined it for us. Sometimes for the positive (“I’ve got an addiction to soft linens” he said in his worst British accent), but most of the time it is because of the painful experience we have had with an individual suffering from Addiction that comes to our mind.
Merriam-Websters.com defines addiction as:1: the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading> (Duhhhh), or more importantly… 2: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.
That’s a solid legal definition, but to be honest it raises more questions about what elements inside the definition (of addiction) rather than provide an answer to the question…What is Addiction?
While Addiction takes many different forms and shapes, it is possible to construct a framework around the idea of an Addiction that everyone can understand. However, one post would not do this justice! Thus we embark on our first series called Addiction 101.
Addiction 101 is intended to go into the mind (and community) of someone who suffers from an addiction (for our purposes we will use the term addicts, regardless of the addiction) and introduce issues that addicts struggle with on both a conscious and subconscious level. TAB hopes to introduce you to a wide variety of topics on addiction, spanning from; viewing addiction as a disease, the thought process of an addict, and relapse prevention training. Addiction 101 hopes to provide you with a new view of what Addiction is and paint you a more accurate picture of what Addiction is not.
What does addiction mean to you? What picture comes to your mind when you hear the word addiction? Please leave your response in the comments portion below, and let’s flesh out some current meanings of… The A Word.