If you read the title and declared you have no addiction, you are either lying to yourself or you simply are not aware what your addiction is. I truly believe we all have an addiction to something. Some only think drugs and alcohol when they hear the word addiction. They forget about cigarettes, coffee, food, gambling, porn, stamp collecting, and the list goes on. Given an opportunity, you can easily learn your own addiction, but are you willing to do so?

Do you really think someone wakes up one day and says, “I think I want to be addicted to heroin today.” I would wager a no. Addiction can be sneaky. It can have a hold of you before you know it. For some it is a slow process and for others it can consume them from the first moment they try whatever will become their addiction. For instance, a number of people began smoking after picking one up and dragging on it. You have even probably heard someone warn you with a phrase similar to “You better not do that, you’ll get hooked!” Being savvy, you probably thought “Nah, not me.” And before you knew it you found yourself at the store purchasing a pack of your favorite smokes. Addiction got another one. Knowing you are susceptible to addictions is key to fighting them off. I will use myself as an example. Coming from a long line of alcoholics, I had to fight the demon of alcohol addiction at an early age. I have no problem discussing my battles in hopes they will help others. That being said, here is another example involving myself.

Recently I sustained a pretty serious injury while working at home. The injury resulted in a trip to the emergency room and several stitches. Knowing the problems associated with opioids, I informed the doctor I did not wish to have any pain killers; I would tough it out. Turns out the doctor knew a bit more than I did and prescribed me a low dose pain killer to help with the pain that would rear its ugly head once my adrenaline decreased and the real hurting began. And let me tell you it most certainly did. The pain caused loss of quality sleep and required me to try the pain killing prescription I was advised I would need. Reading the dosing schedule very closely (one every four hours), I thought it would be no problem. In fact, I would wait every six hours. Well the pill began to have a voice of its own and began calling to be ingested sooner and sooner. Eventually I was constantly thinking about them. I found I was rushing the four hours. Four became three and three soon became two- and-a-half. Thankfully I realized I was exhibiting the classic signs of becoming addicted. I was liking the way I felt while using the meds. That is one of the first things that should make us take note and stop the use.

I quickly stopped the medication. This can have some side effects such as headaches and other symptoms of withdraw. Not a fun place. But this is the place where a lot of people fall further into a pit of addiction. Once they exhaust their fight against withdraw, and once they can no longer get a valid prescription, they may hunt for an equivalent, or something stronger. They find themselves addicted to a substance they once swore they would never use. For some, they never knew some of these substances existed until they were introduced to them trying to alleviate their need to quell the addiction monster now screaming in their heads.

No one wants to be an addict. Yet, I theorize we are all addicted to something. It is that one thing that controls our thoughts, actions, our very lives. Addiction is sneaky. If you or someone you know is fighting addiction, I encourage you to seek some help. Not everyone has the ability to notice the signs/symptoms and take the necessary steps to avoid its progression. If I hadn’t spent nearly 20 years witnessing varying degrees of addiction, I don’t know that I would be able to write this article. It gives me a different perspective of so-called addicts. Before you cast judgment on someone you deem an addict, consider the fight they may have fought to try and keep themselves from getting to that level. Granted some refuse help. They most likely feel like lost causes. They may have even been told they are. However, the best fight against addiction is awareness, consideration, compassion, love, and an endless supply of patience. No one wants to be addicted. God bless them and release them from the demon of addiction.