“If I have a few drinks every single night before I go to bed, does that mean I have an addiction?” A friend said mockingly. “Of course it does!”
“The question you should ask yourself is why would you drink every night. It’s only an addiction if you depend on it,” Argued another.
The casual conversation that began about drinking at parties escalated into a debate, causing a domino effect of question and answers to which we all couldn’t quite agree on. Considering addiction wasn’t officially classified as a disease until the late 1980’s, grey areas and stigmas remain around the subject.
One thing we could agree on is that drinking is a risky gamble for those more susceptible to addiction. None of us personally claimed to have an addiction, but myself and a few others had seen addiction severely impact those around us.
What begins as a way to kick off a memorable (or should I say forgettable) weekend could turn into a serious problem. Those celebratory shots, evening glasses of wine, or even some fizzy champaign walk on a fine line of being your best friend or worst enemy.
By no means am I suggesting everyone who begins a drinking habit will fall into addiction. The danger is, you never know who will.
Naturally, conversations like this only further my curiosity of psychology. And as a new psychology student, I’m always on the lookout for interesting yet insightful reads to help me learn more about the subject.
Without any specific book in mind as I walked into the store, I came across Addicted: Notes from the Belly of the Beast and I’m grateful that I did. Addicted*, edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane, documents the stories of multiple writers who suffered from addiction.
Due to the graphic nature of the novel, readers should be cautious before opening the book. The writers do not hold back as they share dark, vulnerable moments of their lives. However, it is the authors’ courage to share these stories that makes it even more powerful.
Overall, I took away a great deal of knowledge and debunked some of the myths around addiction that I used to believe.
- Addiction isn’t limited to alcohol, or even drugs for that matter. It can take the form of food, gambling, sex and more, that stems from the need to cope with stress and other negative feelings. It’s more present in our lives than we may think.
- There’s an undeniable stigma around addiction around who is most likely to develop an addition. Like most stereotypes, we tend to paint an image of this person in our heads. Each writer who participated in the novel had a unique story, emphasizing the fact that people from all backgrounds can fall victim to addiction.
Diseases such as addiction are difficult to understand from an outsider’s perspective, which is why it is crucial that there are first hand accounts of addiction for people to read. Gaining a better understanding of it is necessary for someone supporting a loved one through an addiction, someone going through the recovery process themselves, or students specializing in disorders.
Although at times it is difficult to read, each story left an impact on me. Compared to other books about addiction you may read, Addicted provides a variety of first hand accounts that cover different forms of addiction. Each story is touching in its own way, while showing the harsh reality of the recovering process.
Have you read Addicted, if so what are your thoughts? If not, what are some books you recommend?
Thank you for reading as always.