Addiction Is Another Word for Craving - Grasshopper
Addiction is a myth. If you were really addicted to something, you could never outgrow it. You would stay in its clutches forever.
The dictionary defines addiction as an inclination or proclivity. We have a proclivity towards something that many groups have arbitrarily deemed us powerless against. If we were powerless, we could never put an "addiction" behind us.
"I have an addiction to purple crayons." As dumb as that sounds, you can substitute any word for purple crayons and it would be just as stupid. "I'm addicted to heroin" just means you have taken enough heroin that your body craves more. The physical craving usually stops within days of stopping the use of an "addictive" substance. So where's the addiction after a few days? It's in your mind.
You have mental images that trigger cravings and stir internal conversations that you need said substance. Your body is no longer "addicted," but your mind has convinced itself, usually with some outside help, that you are.
"Alcoholics" are drunks who use that word as an excuse to keep drinking. "I can't help myself, I'm an alcoholic." "I just can't help myself, I just keep coloring everything purple." If you really want to outgrow drugs or alcohol, find out what it is that causes you to numb yourself below consciousness so that you don't have to deal with it. Then you'll be on your way to discovering that your "addiction" was a vehicle to avoid something, usually something that caused you emotional pain. The substance may take the pain away temporarily but it's coming back until you face it, feel it fully and metabolize it.
"Addiction" is an advertising word that elevates craving to a higher spot on the ladder than it deserves. Therapists make a living off the word "addiction." "Craving" doesn't sell as well as addiction but that's what an addiction is. The old axiom "My wife craved pickles and ice cream when she was pregnant" has evolved to she was addicted to Häagen-Dazs and kosher pickles.
Addiction is too solid a concept. We need to examine it more closely and see the porosity in it - the holes in the argument, so to speak. I have no quibble with organizations helping people with their cravings. I love AA's way of getting people past the denial that alcohol is interfering with the quality of their life. That's a great achievement. The rest of their model, to my mind, is unsubstantiated lore.
The words of the late Dr. Dave Dobson ring in my ears; "People are their own best therapists." And Socrates warned us not to pay attention to the masses when he offered, "Know thyself."
No matter how many football announcers and coaches, through usage, bastardize the word "route" and call it "rout," it will always be properly pronounced as route (root). In the same vein, a craving will never be an addiction, no matter how many people claim it to be so.
In an effort to make ourselves not responsible for our cravings, we've allowed ourselves to become powerless to the concept of addiction.
All the best,
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