Are We All Addicts?

it seems much more accurate to ask myself how and not whether addiction touches my life. 


I often get the chance to work with people who are struggling with addiction. This work always gets me thinking about how addiction maps onto broader North American contemporary society. Although we seem to have gotten into the habit of implicitly associating addiction with substance use/abuse issues, I wonder if this doesn’t give us a false sense of security.

For myself, I believe that a more comprehensive understanding of, and honest perspective on, addiction should cause me to question whether I should so quickly dismiss myself from the ‘addict’ camp.

Merriam-Webster defines addiction as “a strong and harmful need to regularly have or do something” (Merriam-Webster, 2014).

When we consider these criteria, and examine our own potentially less-than-healthy relationships with certain life domains (e.g., technology, security, status, projecting/maintaining certain pre-fabricated versions of ourselves), it seems we are taking a significant step toward understanding addiction in a much more productive way. I know that when I get real with myself, it seems much more accurate to ask myself how and not whether addiction touches my life. 

 In recent years, I’ve been challenged by a number of authors and researchers to understand both the causes of addiction and some important factors involved in its continuance.  I came across a recent article that summarizes this emerging perspective on addiction. I hope you find it as interesting and –with any luck– as troubling as I did.