Addiction is used both in light and serious situations where an extreme use or liking for something is taking place. Words like “chocoholic” and “shopaholic” have been used in casual conversations to refer to someone’s extreme fondness for chocolates and shopping, respectively. But, does addiction really equate to an extreme fondness, liking, or attachment? These three things can be used in a positive light whereas the term “addiction,” when used in serious conversations, has a negative notion.
You may think it starts as a fondness, liking or attachment but addiction occurs when people no longer have control of what they are using or doing. When the use of a substance is already affecting the daily routine or mental processes of the person, it becomes an addiction. The more common situations where this takes place are drug and alcohol consumption. In this case, addiction is classified as substance dependence. And while the term chocoholic is indeed used in light conversations, addiction really does apply to anything that can be consumed by the body, including chocolates. Also, addiction can also refer to behaviour or activities such as gambling, in which case, it is classified as behavioural addiction.
When does it become an Addiction?
Sometimes, people have a hard time evaluating whether something is an addiction or not. There are times when it is just a habit or routine. It is important to know that addiction is different from habit. When something is done habitually, the person can choose to stop anytime because the actions are done by choice. A person who is addicted to something cannot stop because of dependence. In medicine, addiction can be determined by using the criteria set by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. A continually increasing drug or alcohol consumption over time as well as physical or emotional withdrawal during attempts to stop are signs of an addiction. Families and friends should also observe if the person involved now leads a different daily routine because of the substance. If work and relationships are starting to get affected, it is important that they keep an eye on the individual.
Dealing with Addiction
There are people who admit to being addicted to something and they start acting on their own. However, dealing with addiction is more challenging for those who deny being addicted to something. For cases like this, everything depends on the family and friends of the person involved. This is where an intervention takes place although it’s not always a successful method because it’s just one of the first steps in fighting addiction.
For substance addiction, rehabilitation facilities offer different kinds of programs depending on the needs of the person involved. There are also support groups where participants fight the same kind of addiction through sharing and activities.
All in all, addiction is a serious condition. The process of being addicted is shorter than the process of recovering from it. Being so, it is important to take action before it destroys a person’s life.