What is Addiction?

What is Addiction?

Oct 24, 2021

What is addiction? What has been other people’s experience? If someone would ask people randomly right now what addiction is what they would say? Beth told me she thinks addiction is when the body needs something, it’s the brain signaling that it needs something that the individual cannot live without. Powerful, the brain is telling the person what to do. The individual affected becomes a whole separate person; the brain is in control. It can also be a genetic disease, something that people are were born with. She describes drugs as poison to the body. 

Beth also raised this question during our conversation: “Does someone know that they have a problem if they are addicted to something?” 

She describes her drinking coffee and having chocolate. Is that an addiction? Do people know when they cross the line? I define crossing the line when an individual causes harm to themselves or others.

Having conversation with Sheila who has been working in nutrition. She said addiction is when people have an overwhelming need for something and are willing to do things that are not good for them, and it affects their social life, work life, or health. In any case, it is a negative effect for the individual. Sheila has been dealing with nicotine and sugar addiction in her life. She has now been nicotine free for 20 years, it has taken her many tries throughout the previous 20 years to stop smoking. Her husband is still trying to quit, and he has not been able to do so. Now she even hates the smell. She explained that smoking was extremely difficult to quit, and the motivation for her were her children. I am not here to talk about the professional definitions, anybody can look that up on the internet or in the dictionary. What does addiction mean to the person who is an addict? What does it mean to society? What does it mean to people whose life been touched by addiction or they know somebody who has addiction? It is a way different way to see someone in the street and say oh this is just a drunk; than having a father, mother or sister, brother, friend, grandparents; children suffer from alcoholism or any type of substance or drug addiction. There are of course many substances that are available for abuse today starting with food, cigarettes, vaping, different energy drinks and soda pops, alcohol, drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, drugs used in anesthesia and that were banned, drugs that people can buy on the internet with a click of a button and many more coming in all forms types, sizes and shapes.

Edward works in a small rural community. He is passionate about helping others and making his community healthier. Talking to Edward he also mentioned that there are many different addictions, it is a broad topic, it goes beyond alcohol and opioids and some addictions might appear to be positive like running, sex, working, food, coffee, carbs, chocolate. It is a different level and continuum, but these addictions function in a similar fashion in the brain and it is important to have a discussion about it.

Substances can be abused in different ways, can be smoked, inhaled, snorted, injected, taped to the skin like Fentanyl, taken orally, rectally. Probably there are other ways too. Pills including prescribed opiates and benzodiazepines are easy just to pop in (as I have heard many times) or crush up and hard to keep count how many someone had taken when they are suffering from the disease of addiction. A pill might feel like all the pain in the world will go away. Then addiction kicks in and people just want one more and one more and one more. This is even harder when the medication is prescribed and the person thinks it is OK just to take one more, soon it will be more than just one extra pill. It will become two, three than even more, then prescriptions start to run out. Then what will happen, the doctor might or might not prescribe more so what the person will do when they are in pain and in distress and believe that need their medicine? They will do whatever means necessary to numb their pain. They will ask friends, buy off the streets. I was told by many people, the pills become too expensive and heroin or other substances are cheaper and the cycle begins. If this is all someone knows to numb the pain so of course the brain would say just take one more the pain will be better. They think that they will be happier. They will fall asleep, and do not feel what is going on in their life. Pain of living, any kind and anxiety, previous trauma, difficulty fitting in, mental health problems, stress can feel real. People who are trapped might not know that they are in a terrible cycle? Do they realize what is going on with them even if others tell them? Maybe they will, or maybe they will not, it is not easy to admit even if something is wrong. It is much easier to turn away and say: I am just fine. I just need my medicine to feel better. It is the person’s truth even if others think they could deal with their pain in another way it is not their truth. It is very easy to say well why don’t they do this or that.

Our Society: Addiction and More Uncovered. Hear the voices of everyday people - collection of stories and experiences.

Dancing Elephants Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright @ 2020. 1st addition on Amazon KDP.

2nd addition Jan 2021 Barnes & Noble

This book is dedicated to the memory of

Bagóczky József my uncle who died at age 19 - alcohol-related car accident

and to everyone else who has been hurt or lost related to addiction

Many people had been supportive and inspiring to me so I could create this book. Both of my wonderful children told me, just write that book, mom. My mom. I could have not done this without all the stories provided and the encouragement love and caring from my family and friends, nurses, doctors, counselors, teachers, professors, friends who are dealing with addiction and staying sober; and children, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers of people who are dealing with addiction currently. Thank you for speaking up, sharing your stories and life experiences. Thank you for all the people who read this book while in progress to provide feedback, ideas, and encouragement for me to continue writing. I would like to say special thanks to my friends and family for believing me and encouraging me to go on.

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