It is said that addiction can be defined in a great many ways and examples. Perhaps the most obvious one being the view that addiction is an unhealthy dependency on any substance or form of activity, behaviour that has a potentially negative or destructive consequence that could cause considerable distress for the person or persons involved.
Phew what a mouthful eh?
I bet everyone has their own picture or image in their mind of what a drug addict is? Possibly it is the classic image of the junkie scratching around to get his or her latest fix of heroin. The really sad thing about this is that although this does actually happen, as an image of the typical drug addict, it is way of the mark as far as the majority of drug users are concerned. The vast majority of addicts do not conform to this generalisation in any way shape or form.
The bottom line is that addiction can strike and affect anyone out there and lets be honest there has never been a better time possibly to be an addict with such a range of mind altering substances available.
Though not freely available to the general public it is certainly the case that if you know what you are doing then these substances can certainly be procured.
As I mentioned, addiction can affect anyone and can be as a result of the use or over use of many a legitimate product such as tranquilisers and sleeping tablets as well as the misuse of illegal substances such as cocaine and cannabis.
What causes an addiction? Well the classic causes are usually if you have a person who is having problems with a relationship or even finding a relationship, work/career problems or some forms of extreme emotional instability for whatever reason.
Let me make one point quite clear at the outset, addictions dont just happen, they have to have an underlying cause that stimulates the body into seeking some form of artificial stimulation to cater for some inner craving.
The other really sad aspect and bizarre element to the whole problem with addiction is that by and large, depending on why the person is reacting in this manner, the chances are that one of the reasons for addiction was that at the outset the activity that caused the addiction was probably pleasurable in some form or another.
It is a chemical reaction within the brain that associates pleasure (certainly in the first instance) with the consumption of drugs at the outset and only when these feelings begin to wane does the need for replacement begin to cause problems. The sad and dangerous aspect to all of this certainly with regards to drug abuse is that by and large to start with it was probably a social event that caused the whole problem to start in the first place.
One last point to consider in this brief introduction to substance abuse and addiction is the effect it has on the families and friends of the dependent person.
Those families and friends who watch their loved ones sink ever more into some form of dependency or another suffer terribly both mentally and