Some leisure addictions can have little consequences while other addictions like drug addictions can destroy families, health and lead to crime. Some addictions are so unimportant family and friends will hardly raise an eyebrow. Others will alarm everyone associated with the person; addictions can break laws of the land and leave the person penniless or worse.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines addiction as someone who is, ‘unable to stop taking drugs, or doing something as a habit.
I would go further; addiction is when a person engages in behavior, when the effects of the reward provide a compelling reason to repeat the activity, sometimes even if the activity is detrimental to his or her well being.
Let’s look at the innocent addictions that don’t raise eyebrows. If you are a young student and in your spare time you are addicted to playing a computer soccer game, if your hours of play are controlled, somewhat you are not doing any harm to anybody.
Your family may even think its better than hanging about street corners.
Many people have a coffee addiction where they desire the need for a coffee in the morning. Perhaps someone you know has a chocolate addiction and always seems to be visiting shops to buy chocolate bars.
“If it wasn’t for coffee, I’d have no discernible personality at all” – David Letterman
Famous people who have had a addiction to something considered unharmful, in the following cases: coffee, include Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin and Brittney Spears.
Famous composer, Beethoven, famously was very serious about his coffee and would count exactly 60 beans per cup.
Let us focus on serious addictions that can cause the addicted person and others harm. The addiction of illegal drugs is the probably the first form of addiction that springs to mind for most of us when the word ‘addiction’ is mentioned. Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine are highly addictive and the former can be deadly. Professor Shane Darke of The Sydney National Drug and Alcohol Centre says:
‘It’s a myth overdose deaths are due to variations in drug purity (or impurities). Deaths are concentrated among long-term users with high opioid tolerance. What’s more, in a large proportion of fatal cases, the concentration of morphine (the major metabolite of heroin) is low.’
Cocaine, too is most dangerous for the long term user. Longer use of the drug can cause heart attacks; cocaine use is linked with increased risk of strokes and can cause inflammation of the heart muscle, deterioration of the ability of the heart to contract, and aortic ruptures among other serious health problems.
Addictions to drugs has caused many serious crimes, including murder. The addicted commits crimes to find money to get his or her next fix. With this in mind it’s no surprise drugs are illegal in almost every society.