Addiction is a fine old English word meaning commitment, dedication, devotion, inclination, bent or attachment. However, while particular addictions may be good some are bad. Some people are addicted to music, others to books, and others to walks in the country. Some are addicted to a religious doctrine or community, be it the Roman Catholic, the Buddhist.

However, people say that too much of something is a bad thing. This adage is becoming truer than ever because of the growing concern for the millions of people who have one or more forms of a harmful addiction. Addiction is taken to refer to any activity which individuals engage in, deliberately and consciously, and are physically unable to stop themselves from pursuing. An addiction develops when a person becomes highly dependent on the intake of a substance, such as alcohol, nicotine from cigarettes, and other chemicals from prescription and illegal drugs. Thus the heroin addict cannot refrain from injecting himself with heroin, the alcohol addict or alcoholic cannot refrain from swallowing alcoholic beverages. There are also sources that include the indulgence to certain harmful activities like overeating and gambling as addictions.

Addictions are seen as medical conditions, because whatever a person does to curb his appetite for the addiction may pose certain health consequences, often unseen by him. There are many explanations as to why a person develops such an addiction - it may be genetic, psychological, or a physical wanting for it. At present, there are ways by which people with addictions are able to deal with the problem and possibly erase any desire for it. Medications are not the only method; some experts recommend therapy, hypnosis, and other alternatives.

Drug Addiction

Dangerous drugs have been a problem concerning all societies today. Because they are illegal, part of the difficulty in obtaining them adds to the addiction that victimizes millions of teenagers and adults around the world. According to Drug-Rehabs.Org, there are about 2 million Americans who are hooked on cocaine. There are an estimated 600,000 people in the US who are addicted to heroin, and about 140 million people around the world smoke marijuana. Drugs are said to affect physical coordination, and can contribute to liver disease and lung cancer.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is another highly addictive substance that over 15 million Americans are dependent on. Facts and figures also present that a growing number of minors are becoming exposed to drinking of alcohol, a problem that is growing by the day. A lot of people who resort to heavy drinking claim that they do it in order to forget their problems and issues. Therapy and rehab for alcoholics help these victims to realize how different their lives can be if they remain sober.

Tobacco Addiction

For people who smoke heavily, they develop a dependency for nicotine, a substance found in tobacco from cigarettes. Nicotine is actually a drug, and when it is present in large amounts in the body, can lead to serious ailments. Smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer and puts the cardiovascular system at risk. In the United States, about 45 million men and women are smokers, and this is not limited to the adult age group. One of the ways to gradually reduce the dependency for cigarettes is by using nicotine patches.

Addiction Treatment

It is often not a simple matter to induce people to give up their vicious addictions and replace them with virtuous ones. Their values, the principles that give meaning to their lives, need to be transformed. They may not share our opinion as to which addictions are virtuous and which addictions are vicious. But even if they do share our opinion, in the sense that they assent to it, they may hold other beliefs which imply a continued commitment, that is, a continued addiction, to the old way of life. The transition from one addiction to a different addiction from drunkenness to sobriety, from sexual promiscuity to marital fidelity, from frequenting the local casino may be a difficult struggle.

A person with an addiction may come to believe that this addiction is not really for the best. That person may decide it would be better to abandon it. But because all our beliefs, values, habits and physiological responses are an intricately woven web, that person may often find the tug of their old addiction quite powerful.

Millions of heavy, habitual, lifelong cigarette smokers have quit smoking, the vast majority of them without any professional help or treatment. Inescapably, for these millions of smokers, smoking was a choice and was always a choice, even during the decades when they were smoking every day. The smokers who chose to quit were able to make that choice. Those smokers who have not so far quit smoking are unable to do so.

According to the view of the world, the heroin addict can stop injecting himself with heroin; the alcohol addict can stop himself from swallowing whiskey, and so forth. People are in charge for their conscious and behavior.

Human life is constantly implicated with addictions, and would be miserable and valueless, perhaps even unfeasible, without addictions. Addictions are necessary; however, harmful ones can have dreadful consequences.

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