What is addiction?

Drug addiction is any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person’s life. This to the exclusion of other activities. Or, it is something that has begun to harm the persona and others physically, mentally, or socially. Then it is considered an ‘addictive’ behavior. A person can become addicted, dependent, or compulsively obsessed with anything. And at any time.

Drug addiction is the state of being given up, or taken away by, some habit or compulsion. It can be overwhelming in thought. So much so that it leads you to doing different actions. Not just drug taking. But avoiding certain family or friends for example. Missing school, work or class. Arguing in relationships so you have time to be alone. To give time to your habit or compulsion, which includes the buying, storing, using, hiding and lying cycle as a part of your life that can all but take over.

Withdrawal of some kind is usually part and parcel of addiction that comes with feeling painfully low, depressed and ill. Some make a distinction between physical addictions. Like chemicals and others psychological addictions such as gambling or sex addiction. However whether physical, psychological or otherwise they are arguably more often than not intertwined. The addictions encompass body, mind, soul and emotions as a mix of craving and dependence ingredients that progressively become more harmful as the thinking, feelings and behaviors continue.

Drug addiction can be demarcated as a strong physiological and psychological dependence on a drug or other agent. Drug addiction is normally characterized by a state of reliance on a drug. Oftentimes it’s not that hard to see or define. We, and the addicts themselves just don’t want to see it! This reliance on a drug or object is sometimes defined as physical dependence but usually also includes a passionate emotional dependence.

Drug addiction, is also a disorder branded by an overwhelming desire to continue taking a drug to which one has become accustomed through repeated consumption. Repeated because it produces a certain effect that changes the way we think and feel. Even feeling numb to depression, or forgetting about your problems, relationships and financial woes can be the catalyst that keeps the desire burning. The need for pleasure as opposed to pain in our lives is a driving force that can run riot if left unchecked. Life however comes with a certain amount of pain. Necessary pain that we can learn from. It takes some pain to exercise. Pain to work, to build relationships and careers. It takes a certain amount of pain to keep a house, or your body, healthy and clean.

Addiction is usually accompanied by a compulsion to obtain the drug, a tendency to increase the dosage and a desire to make an environment ready and free for usage. Drug addiction is a psychological, emotional and or physical dependence on a substance, or thing. This thing serves as a distraction from reality and a way to find pleasure. It is impulsive behaviour that is instant gratification centred. However, it is normally pain that is found that dominates after an ever elusive rush or high.


Common addictive drugs are barbiturates, alcohol, cocaine, morphine and other opioids and heroin. However an addiction can be almost anything that becomes an obsession or compulsion that has enough effect to remove you from a normally functioning and healthy life routine.

It is in fact compulsive and manipulative dependence on a drug that produces adverse psychological, physical, financial, social, relational or legal ramifications. Drug addiction has also been defined as “a chronic, relapsing (reverting to again and again) brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works”. Any which way you look at it, it is progressive and therefore gets worse. You can treat it, but a cure as such comes about as an ongoing daily process.

Finally, the scary part is that drug addiction is something that happens when a person is ensnared or entrapped by whatever substance or object they have been using as an escape from reality. Their reality has become distorted and they are now locked within that new reality. So much so that their bodies and brains actually physically change. A person who has become addicted thinks irrationally as opposed to rationally. They are often mindless instead of mindful about what they do in their cycle of using. Their chemistry changes over time. They essentially think, feel and act like someone other than who they really are. When this happens the emotional impacts they were trying to avoid becomes much worse. This is compounded by their own value systems that have been changed by the addictive behaviours. The loss of the self to varying degrees follows and the chaos, confusion, disorder and unmanageability that surrounds this process can be catastrophic.

If you or someone you know may be drug addicted contact Drug Rehab Centres South Africa. We can help you with our drug addiction recovery treatment programme. drugrehabcentressa@gmail.com or call (0027) 0824424779.