By dictionary definition, according to dictionary.com, addiction is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming…to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” The website actually lists ‘narcotics’ as an example. This definition could be applied to many things in life upon which we are dependent. However, there are many things in life we are ‘addicted’ to that we don’t realize we are ‘addicted’ to until we do not have that thing. For example, our phones. All it takes is the sudden thought that we might have lost or misplaced our phones and many of us ‘lose it’. We search for it frantically. We are overwhelmed by the fear that our phones are gone and that we might miss a text, a call, or a notification. We have photos, memories, apps, and passwords. Our phone might start our car, unlock our house, and play even greater roles in our lives. When we think our phone is gone, we are forced to recognize the habit we have developed with have our phones on hand, all of the time. Trauma may not be our experience, but we may be shocked to realize the extent of our attachment to a technological device. Most people have vices that would constitute as a diagnosable addiction. When one looks at the criteria for a ‘substance use disorder’ as laid out by a manual such as the DSM-V, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, they are seemingly common. If you replaced the words drugs, alcohol, or other specific terms with something like technology, pornography, exercise, or other every day habits, you might find people believing that they are addicted. Many would qualify. Yet, only those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are the ones who receive shame, stigma, and stereotype. Someone who might meet the same exact qualifications for say, spending time on social media, as someone who abuses benzodiazepines would not be met with the same harsh criticism. Our kids might develop a chemical dependency on drugs and/or alcohol. We may want to punish, shun, and criticize them for doing so. Humbly, we must realize that we all have our various vices upon which we rely in some way. If ours were threatening our lives the way that drug and alcohol addiction threaten the lives of our children, we would fight and demand to be cared for.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long-term residential treatment programs for adolescent and teenage boys. Building positive foundations through life cleansing therapies, boys graduate from our program ready to take on life.
Call us today for information: 662-598-4214