Addiction is defined as the recurrent failure to control a behaviour, increased tension prior to a behaviour, and pleasure while experiencing the behaviour. As well, every addiction has specific symptoms that need to be experienced repeatedly or over a period of time in order for the addiction to be diagnosed.
Types of Addictions
There are two general categories when it comes to addictions – chemical addictions and process addictions. Some common addictions include:
- drugs – cannabis, cocaine, heroin, steroids etc
Characteristics of Addiction
There are several characteristics of an addictive habit or behaviour. The addiction is not under your control, rather it controls you. It becomes a compulsion, a regular part of your life and you think that you cannot live without it. You find yourself doing it over and over again for a bigger or better "buzz". You repeatedly do it in order to escape feelings such as boredom, grief, frustration, sadness, rejection and failure. You spend more and more of your time and money on it. The addiction becomes self-obsessive, and may rob you of your energy. It often disrupts your social, family, love, and work life, as well as damages your mental and physical health. While the addiction brings short term pleasure, it can bring long term harm.
12 Step Programs for Addiction
A twelve step program is a set of guiding principles for the recovery from addiction. It was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous but is now used in many other recovery programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and Debtors Anonymous. The twelve step program involves admitting that a person cannot control their addiction, recognising a greater power that can give strength, examining past errors with the help of a sponsor, making amends for these errors, learning to live a new life with a new code of behaviour, and helping others that suffer from the same addiction.