All of are, addicts of some sort, dependant upon some thing. We are more or less dependant, more or less addicted but addicts nonetheless.
I suppose a working definition of addict is a person dependant upon a substance or outlet, either of which the addict can not do without. If something is alleged to be an addiction, and it is something we can give up, or voluntarily cease and desist, than it is probably not an addiction but rather something we find extremely important in life, whether good or bad.
John Daly, the professional golfer, is an addict. His addiction is gambling. Daly estimates that during some twelve years of heavy gambling, he may have lost as much as $40 million. That is an incredible sum, but probably realistic because Daly made tens of millions of dollars playing the game of golf. After losing those millions upon millions of dollars, Daly finally came to the conclusion that the addiction could “flat out ruin me”. Better later than never I suppose. Gambling is a horrible addiction, ruinous financially, turning the serious business of life into a mere game of chance.
Then there is Patrick Kennedy, US Representative from the State of Rhode Island, who acknowledged an addiction to drugs which he and his advisors termed an addiction to sleeping medication. Kennedy was involved in an accident in Washington, DC and the police who investigated the matter felt that Kennedy was legally drunk, with alcohol a direct cause of the accident. Kennedy denied drinking and blames his obvious stupor and erratic behavior on sleeping medication. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in the accident. Kennedy negotiated a plea bargin with local authorities, pleading guilty to a charge of driving while under the influence of a drug of sleeping medication. All other charges were dropped. Kennedy had just recently returned from a 30 day rehabilitation stint at the Mayo Clinic. There are indeed many people who are addicted to sleeping medication and drugs similar which bring the body down. There are many who take beta blockers because high blood pressure is an issue, and one can become totally dependant upon that otherwise important and potentially lifesaving drug. Rush Limbaugh was addicted to pain killers. Limbaugh was so dependant upon painkillers that he was accused of doctorshopping in order to get as many as possible so that he could take the drug at his convenience and not when prescribed. Such conduct is criminal in nature. But the Limbaugh matter was settled and we will never know whether Limbaugh was in fact guilty of such conduct.
Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts was and perhaps still is, an alcoholic of some sort. Senator Kennedy has battled alcoholism and apparently has gained control of the addiction, at least to the extent where he can function properly in his political career. Alcohol is a brutal addiction and the effects are felt by virtually every family anywhere. This brutal addiction exists in my own family and it is absolutely ruinous unless serious and ongoing treatment occurs. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. It is a disease which can only be treated but never cured.
Then there is Barry Bonds, the baseball player who just broke the homerun record of the late, great Babe Ruth. Bonds has been accused of ingesting any number of drugs, including and especially steroids to enhance performance and build muscle. He denies it of course, even though there are any number of individuals who have testified they have either sold such drugs to Bonds or were present when he consumed them. Steroids build muscles, large, big muscles and enhance performance well beyond what the body in a natural way, could generate. The use of steroids is alleged to be rampant in sports, which tarnishes performance and any records achieved. Even more importantly, the long term effects of steroid use on the body are absolutely disastrous. Excessive use can destroy organs, shorten life, and even cause death. It is absolutely incredible what our magnificent bodies can endure and how much abuse those bodies can take.
The addiction is what we see, external conduct, pursuing the drug of choice to accomplish a neurotic objective or to mitigate the underlying pain, whether physical or psychological. Any person addicted needs help, ours as family and friends through intervention, and even moreso from experts in helping and healing on a regular and consistent basis, even for a lifetime. If any person you know, especially family or friend, is addicted to alcohol, sleeping medication, painkillers, steroids, or gambling, or any other addiction which is potentially life ruinous, you should intervene. The intervention may be painful, hurtful to a relationship, or even without merit. But you-we-I should do it anyway. The life of a human being is at stake. No drug, no addiction, should ever win the battle of life.