Addiction! A word that ‘screams’ at you. Sometimes the noise is loud and obnoxious, and sometimes it is a voice in the dark, however unwanted, chanting in your ear that you have a problem and the problems has a name; that name is ADDICTION.

A person can be addicted to many things, more than one thing, or at any point in time multiple ‘things’. There are no rules. Each person has a story they can tell. It can be a story of triumph, or a story of loss.

Addiction is that persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or a substance. One that at times a person can control, but when the line has been crossed, there is no longer control. There is only that voice in the dark either rationalizing the behavior, or at some point telling you that you no longer have control.

Additions tend to be progressive, and without intervention or treatment, generally worsen. It is a disease, like a malignancy that takes root and grows. Undoubtedly, people do not choose to have an addiction. What people do have is a choice to reach for recovery, which is a personal choice of anyone with an addition issue.

There are as many addictions out there. Anything that creates disruption or escape and that a person no longer can manage or control, is a problem. Alcohol, smoking, illegal drug abuse, prescription drug abuse, gambling, eating disorders, inhalants, gaming, spending, shopping, etc! The first topic I will gravitate towards will be alcoholism, one of the oldest, or the most researched of many of the addictions, in my opinion.

As important as the effect of the alcoholic consumption and behavior on the individual, is the effect of this disease on the family.
Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the one who consumes the alcohol, but it is also a family disease. The behavior and drinking of the alcoholic has a far reaching impact on the family and if the cycle is never broken, with continued from generation to generation. Although recovery is not an easy process, a family ‘that gets sick together’, also will ‘get well together’. When the alcoholic starts to work his (or her) program of recovery, their behavior, and attitudes, will also facilitate the recovery of the family also. The family will define their enabling behaviors that contribute to the process, and also work their program to recovery.

The stereotypical alcoholic that most of us think of is the homeless person that we all see on T.V. Its that person that is laying on the park bench, passed out with the empty liquor bottle down on the ground. A person who is all alone with no family, no friends, no home. Think again. Many alcoholics are hardly your stereotypical alcoholic. They can hold an advanced degree, hold a highly respectable position and essentially be a very high functioning alcoholic. These are those people that may very well be a colleague at work or work in the same vicinity as you, yet you would never know. They maintain respectable, even high-profile lives, usually with a home, intact family and a good job. This person balances their hidden addiction, that is until discovery happens. These individuals may often rationalize that they do not have an alcohol problem because they only drink beer and beer is ‘not really alcohol’, or they never miss work or are late for work because of their drinking so how can it be a problem, or they have a nice home, nice car, nice family, and nice job and alcoholics as we all know, can’t do that. Their drinking is all undercover from the outside world. But those within the inner circle, which is the spouse and the children, know. It is that elephant standing in the middle of the room. Everyone sees it, but no one talks about it.

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