Throughout our discussion of drug use, we’ve been relying on the concept o…

Throughout our discussion of drug use, we’ve been relying on the concept of “addiction.” But the truth is, it’s not really clear what an addiction is. Definitions of the term are notoriously imprecise and unclear. If we define “addiction” as physical dependency on an ingestible substance, we reach the odd result that we’re all addicted to food, air, and water. If we define “addiction” in terms of craving, we reach the odd result that we’re addicted to things like music, which most or many of us crave. Some people think it makes perfect sense to speak of behavioral addictions like sex, porn, gambling, video games, TV, violence, and risky behavior; some find that absurd. Some think that addiction is the fault of the addict; some regard it as a disease for which no one bears responsibility. A definition of “addiction” needs to handle or deal with such facts, but few do. More issues to deal with: it’s taken for grante
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Throughout ? o? ur ? d? iscussion ??of ? d? rug ? u? se, ? w? e’ve ??been? r? elying? o? n ? t? he ??concept ? o? f “addiction.” ? B? ut ? t? he? t? ruth ? i? s,? i? t’s ? n? ot ??really ? c? lear ? w? hat ? a? n ? a? ddiction ???is.? Definitions ? o? f ? t? he ? t? erm ? a? re ??notoriously ??imprecise? a? nd ? u? nclear. If ??we ? d? efine ? “? addiction” ??as ? p? hysical ? d? ependency ??on ??an ??ingestible ? s? ubstance,? w? e reach ? t? he ? o? dd ? r? esult? t? hat ? w? e’re ? a? ll ? a? ddicted ? t? o ? f? ood, ??air,? a? nd ? w? ater. ? I? f ? w? e ? d? efine “addiction” ? i? n? t? erms ??of ??craving,? w? e? r? each ? t? he? o? dd ? r? esult? t? hat ? w? e’re ??addicted ??to things ? l? ike ??music, ? w? hich ? m? ost ??or ??many? o? f? u? s ? c? rave. ? S? ome ? p? eople ? t? hink ? i? t ? m? akes perfect ? s? ense ? t? o ? s? peak ??of ? b?? ehavioral ??addictions? ??like? s? ex, ? p? orn,? g? ambling, ??video games, ? T? V,? v? iolence, ??and ? r? isky ??behavior;? s? ome ??find? t? hat ? a? bsurd. ??Some? t? hink ??that addiction ??is ? t? he ? f? ault ??of ? t? he ??addict; ??some ? r? egard ??it ? a? s ? a? ? d? isease ? f? or ? w? hich ??no ? o? ne bears ? r? esponsibility. ??A ??definition ? o? f ??“addiction” ? n? eeds? t? o ? h? andle? o? r ? d? eal ??with such? f? acts, ? b? ut ? f? ew ? d? o. More ? i? ssues ??to ??deal ??with:? i? t’s ? t? aken ? f? or ? g? ranted ??nowadays ? (? in ??the ??U.S., ? a? nyway) that ? t? he ??“o? pioid? e? pidemic”? ? h? as ? b? een ??caused ? i? n ? l? arge ? p? art ? b? y ? o? ver-prescription ? b? y physicians. ? F? unny ? t? hing: ? m? ost ? p? eople ? f? ollow ??their ? d? octors ? a? nd ? p? harmacist’s orders ? w? ithout ? t? hinking,? m? uch ? l? ess? d? esiring ? t? he ? t? herapies ? t? hey ? o? rder–and ? y? et ??it’s also? t? rue ??that? m? ost ??definitions ??of ??addiction ? d? efine? i? t? a? s ? t? hough? a? ddiction ? i? s caused ? b? y ? t? he ??addict’s ? d? esire ? f? or ?…

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