There are several questions unanswered as yet in regards to addiction such as whether or not it is genetic or acquired and exactly what it is. An addiction is a basic need to have the substance that has altered mood and/or mind at any cost. It is the “I have to have it to feel normal!” You are use to drinking coffee daily, you wake up one morning and find the supply is gone. You would seek it out. In extreme conditions you may find yourself begging, stealing,and going to any length to avoid the unpleasant results of not having coffee. Substances bring euphoria, but the after effect in some cases can be extremely unpleasant.
Addictions do not necessarily occur overnight, it may seem to happen that way. Addiction is that need which drives a person to seek out what ever substance they are using at any cost. Here is one definition: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. (Dictionary.com, n. d.) There are several theories as to what causes addiction and research continues to examine the genetics. Anyone can become an addict, no one is exempt, addiction crosses all borders.
No one sets out to become addicted. Alcohol, drugs (illegal and legal), tobacco products, caffeine, soft drinks, sweets, gambling, sex, the list is endless as to what one can become addicted to. Addicts cannot stop thinking about ways to get more of what it is they are addicted to, any means and any way to achieve the desired result. Sneaking around, hiding it, pretending it does not matter, depending on the substance, never sharing their last one or near last, being defensive when asked about it, and if they do not have it becoming irritable, withdrawn, defensive, and a host of other symptoms. As the definition above states, not having it causes severe trauma, this occurs in many ways, fear, pain, harming self in some way, physical, mental, and emotional discomfort to the extreme is a major part of the withdrawal.
There are those people who can be casual, social and recreational users, and then there are the problem users, those who use occasionally but find trouble every time. Casual or social users are able to take it or leave it, order a drink take one swallow and leave it sit. Try this once and watch your friends reactions to this, or refuse a drink and when asked tell them you decided to quit, and then listen to their responses. When I tell someone I do not drink because I did not like where I woke up, the responses are about the same, justifications and explanations about their drinking habits. I once went out with this guy who said he was not an A.A.’r (Alcoholics Anonymous), just A.
How do you know if you are addicted? That my friend is a personal evaluation, but you can keep a journal, noting the thoughts that precede your decision to use. Look at the patterns or pay attention to the cravings. Ask yourself: “When do I choose to “use?” “What are my motives?” Then make up your own mind. When the pain is bad enough one will always find a way to fix it, one way or another.
As always, bright blessings on your journey. Please feel free to contact me, leave a comment and keep coming back.
addiction. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)Dictionary.com