What is addiction?
The google definition of addiction is: “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.” ( https://www.google.com/search?q=What+is+addiction )
“Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction )
“Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. It also causes serious damage to families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal. Addiction can be effectively prevented, treated and managed by healthcare professionals in combination with family or peer support.” (https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction )
The various medical terms and definitions of what addiction is, does not cover or relay the truth about the disorder. There is almost always a contributing factor and an experience or “reason” for the behaviour of addicts. These reasons are often generalised and stereotypical when in fact each addict is unique in their own addiction story and reasons for falling into addiction.
Addiction can often be a way of suppressing emotions as result of childhood habits, it can be a coping mechanism for people who feel like they have no sense of belonging or purpose as well as feeling they do not have strong friendships or relationships.
The effects go so much deeper than the depletion of the body. Addiction destroys even the strongest spirit in a person. The actions taken by some to continue their addiction can be so morally degrading that an addict loses all sense of worth and from there, the addiction takes over and destroys everything. Once the spirit of a person is broken, the drugs, behaviours or alcohol is in full force.
Addicts do not only hurt themselves by their actions, they leave behind a trail of people who care for them and who suffer during the addicts descend into turmoil. Often the families and friends of addicts take it upon themselves to link a reason for their loved ones behaviour, this is incredibly ignorant because assuming the cause rather than finding out the root of the issue, could make the addict close up. Some families and friends blame themselves for the addiction of their loved one. These people then go through immense guilt trips and could make the addict feel worse about their struggles, causing them potentially falling deeper into their addiction.