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Addiction is an obsession or compulsion for something, which lowers the survival of the individual and in some cases will ruin the individual’s life or even kill the person. Addiction can be a physical and psychological dependence such as, drugs, alcohol, and medication. It is usually associated with the use of substances, but is applied to compulsions that are not related to a substance used such as, gambling problems, computer addiction, etc. With these common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by someone to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful effects to the individual's health, mental state or social life.

The word “addiction” comes from the latin “addicere” which means to give consent or agreement, it means one has given consent to be overpowered.

Therefore, this means one who is addicted has given consent to it. He has agreed to give it power over himself. He has elected the object of his addiction to run his life. It is a decision that was made by the person himself.
(Reference: Webster New World Dictionary and Thesaurus. )

This is an interesting point as a lot of materials written on the subject place the cause for addiction on various “reasons” such as a bad.

  • Childhood
  • genetic blueprint
  • Post-Traumatic distress
  • character flaw
  • mental illness
  • a disease

And so on. All of these factors and more can be seen to be present in an addicted person. They can also be seen to be present in a non addicted person. However, certainly, where present, these factors would all lead to a less than ideal life or lifestyle and to achieve happiness, these factors all warrant a thorough resolution.

However, addiction, in its definition, means having given consent to or agreement to be overpowered by, or having given consent to being controlled by the object of addiction.

This is an important point that can be overlooked in treatment of addiction.

Often a treatment program gives a person a chance to address and resolve many painful and troubling issues that would be otherwise just ignored or suppressed. This is a very good thing. It can lead to a great deal of relief and lead to a better life and happier existence. However, if an “addiction treatment” program fails to handle the actual cause of addiction, per the definition, it will leave the person still under the power of his own prior decision, which was when he gave consent to being overpowered. Make sure the treatment program you choose actually handles “addiction” - which means the decisional capability of the person needs to be fully restored. If that does not happen, the original decision stays in place, and hence you have “relapses” and “failures to recover." A failure to recover or a relapse, just means that the person was not brought up to the realization and understanding of his own power of decision and consent - that is what needs to be rehabilitated. There are many ways to do this. However, it is the one thing that will is key to the whole subject, as that is the anatomy of addiction.

Talk to one of our counsellors about this very important aspect – it is one that gets overlooked from time to time.