Addicts Are People Too: The Reality Of Being An Addict

Flickr/Jacinta Moore
Flickr/Jacinta Moore

Addict has a negative connotation. People associate it with words such as dangerous, unstable, homeless, and irresponsible. They think of people in rehabs and people on the street. But they do not stop to think about the fact that those addicts have families, too. They have kids, they have parents, and they have husbands and wives that are struggling with their problem just as much as the addict themselves.

Many turn up their nose and scoff in disgust when they see people with addictions. They have no pity, and they shouldn’t. They should, however, still have a smidgen of respect because addiction is a disease, not a weakness.

Addicts are people, too. They made bad choices and they had stress put on them that they didn’t know how to deal with, so they turned to a solution that really does nothing but exacerbate their problems. They had parents who were addicts and grew up thinking it was normal. They inherited the addictive gene and only meant to try their poison of choice once. Addiction pays its dues straight down the middle to genetics and to subpar coping mechanisms.

In 2012, an estimated 23.5 million people in America needed help with the misuse of drugs and alcohol. More people are afflicted with addiction than with diabetes. People with drug addictions play a risky game with death every day. Deep down, no one wants their life to be ruled by a substance of any kind.

One of the first steps towards talking about and breaking addiction is acknowledging the negative impact that is has on one’s life, and what will continue if the person is allowed to abuse the substance. Many people only come to terms with what they are doing when they’ve become the lowest of the low.

The origins of “addict” are based in Latin, stemming from the word “addictus,” which means to devote, to sell out, or to sacrifice…

Dramatic television series always portray addictions as treacherous and consuming, and they certainly aren’t wrong. Addiction is very insidious; it slowly takes the mind, and sometimes body, of its victim and becomes the most important thing to them, even preceding family, friends, and themselves. Addicts sacrifice their well-being and life force, devote every waking moment to obtaining, using, and sometimes hiding their substance, and in turn they are given a quick fix.

Our society has also come to use “addiction” for everything that we do in excess. It has become a common, watered-down term and isn’t held to the usual serious connotation and denotation of the word. Factually, addiction is when someone becomes dependent on a substance to the point where they cannot function without it, not when someone spends multiple hours a day thinking and playing video games or is constantly gambling.

Addiction is serious and should be treated as such, instead of being sloppily referred to during a Netflix marathon. An addict is a person who becomes so used to a substance that they form a dependency on it, and society should not throw the term around so carelessly when talking about some hobby or pastime that many enjoy. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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