Some leisure addictions can have little consequences while other addictions like drug addictions can destroy families, health and lead to crime. Some addictions are so unimportant family and friends will hardly raise an eyebrow. Others will alarm everyone associated with the person; addictions can break laws of the land and leave the person penniless or worse.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines addiction as someone who is, ‘unable to stop taking drugs, or doing something as a habit.’
I would go further; addiction is when a person engages in behavior, when the effects of the reward provide a compelling reason to repeat the activity, sometimes even if the activity is detrimental to his or her well being.
Let’s look at the innocent addictions that don’t raise eyebrows. If you are a young student and in your spare time you are addicted to playing a computer soccer game, if your hours of play are controlled, somewhat you are not doing any harm to anybody. Your family may even think its better than hanging about street corners.
Many people have a coffee addiction where they desire the need for a coffee in the morning. Perhaps someone you know has a chocolate addiction and always seems to be visiting shops to buy chocolate bars.
“If it wasn’t for coffee, I’d have no discernible personality at all” – David Letterman
Famous people who have had a addiction to something considered unharmful, in the following cases: coffee, include Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin and Brittney Spears. Famous composer, Beethoven, famously was very serious about his coffee and would count exactly 60 beans per cup.
Let us focus on serious addictions that can cause the addicted person and others harm. The addiction of illegal drugs is the probably the first form of addiction that springs to mind for most of us when the word ‘addiction’ is mentioned. Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine are highly addictive and the former can be deadly. Professor Shane Darke of The Sydney National Drug and Alcohol Centre says:
‘It’s a myth overdose deaths are due to variations in drug purity (or impurities). Deaths are concentrated among long-term users with high opioid tolerance. What’s more, in a large proportion of fatal cases, the concentration of morphine (the major metabolite of heroin) is low.’
Cocaine, too is most dangerous for the long term user. Longer use of the drug can cause heart attacks; cocaine use is linked with increased risk of strokes and can cause inflammation of the heart muscle, deterioration of the ability of the heart to contract, and aortic ruptures among other serious health problems.
Addictions to drugs has caused many serious crimes, including murder. The addicted commits crimes to find money to get his or her next fix. With this in mind it’s no surprise drugs are illegal in almost every society.
Addiction to gambling can be a serious addiction and is widespread in cities with casinos or now even at home with online casinos. Although it’s not at first glance dangerous for people’s health at 2 nd glance people losing large amounts of money can suffer stress related illnesses and eventually fail to look after themselves properly, often, not eating a balanced diet and succumbing to alcohol or drug use to ease their pressures.
Psychology Today claims: ‘Both substance use disorders and gambling behaviors have an increased likelihood of being accompanied by mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, or other pre-existing problems. Substance use and gambling disorders not only engage the same brain mechanisms, they respond to many of the same treatment approaches.
We have discussed controllable addictions to chocolate, though food addiction – when the person starts to binge and fails to control his or her intake of desirable foods can have serious consequences. Highly palatable foods rich in sugar, fat or salt can trigger the same reward and pleasure signals, such as dopamine like a cocaine addict.
Addicted people with food addictions lose control over their eating behavior and spend excessive time involved with food and overeating, or thinking about the emotional effects of compulsive overeating.
According to WebMD
“People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite negative consequences, such as weight gain or damaged relationships. And like people who are addicted to drugs or gambling, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior.
Like most serious addictions, problems arise when they start to impinge on an addict’s social and working life. Addicts start drinking alcohol, taking drugs, eating or gambling so much instead of working, doing recreational activities or spending time with the family.
Alcoholism is the most common cause of death of any addiction. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. Alcohol, contributed to some 3.3 million deaths as of 2012. In 2015, over 15 million American adults over 18 years-old qualified as having an alcohol use disorder (AUD), also known as an alcohol addiction and alcoholism.
Addiction to alcohol can cause terrible health problems and create serious problems for families, friends and society. Alcohol disorders lead to physical problems such as liver cirrhosis, heart deteriation and mental illnesses such as depression.
With regards to social behavior, the addicted can often become homeless as the scourge robs them of the feeling of every day responsibility to take care of themselves. Socially, like drug addiction, the need for more alcohol can lead to anti social behavior including robbery and assault.
The addiction does not only affect the poor. Famous celebrities have become addicts and admitted to having to battle their addictions.
Zac Efron, 31, confessed that becoming such a young celebrity pushed him to abuse drugs and develop an alcohol addiction. Zac started rehab twice in one year, when filming Seth Rogen’s Neighbors.
Colin Farrell, 43, admitted that he “didn’t want to live” while filming After filming Miami Vice, due to the stress of his drug and alcohol addiction.
If you or a friend have an addiction it’s important to seek help. Look in search engines for your local addiction help center or for The Samaritans number. They will put you in touch with your closest addiction help center.
Life is very uncertain. People often keep on looking for happiness in many domains but forgot to live the life during all these hassles. The same goes with the individual suffering from addiction. It is easy to find fake happiness in momentary thrills and it seems to be an easier way to live life. But this perspective needs to be be changed.
People should be more interested in living their life properly rather than finding the happiness in elementary things. If you think that you are in your low, you should talk to a responsible adult or a friend who can guide you and make you understand the better way to deal with the situation.
It is easy to get influenced with any addiction, but it requires a tough soul to deal with tough situations of life. Be a hero to your future and fight against addiction. Don’t let it harm you and your family.