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What is the definition of addiction?

By Rhea Rosier

March 14th, 2012

The literal definition of addiction and the definition of addiction from the alcoholic or addict’s viewpoint are similar but very different. An alcoholic or addict that gives you the definition of addiction, will give you what they know from their experience and a 12-step program. This viewpoint or definition of addiction tends to come from a more spiritual place.  The literal definition of addiction is merely what it means to be addicted to a substance.


The literal definition of addiction goes something like this;

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something

that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics,

to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.



The definition of addiction to the addict or alcoholic is something a little bit more spiritual. The definition of addiction to the addict in a 12-step program knows that it is a threefold disease that consists of a mental obsession, a spiritual malady, and a physical allergy. If an addict or alcoholic takes the definition of addiction seriously that immediately recognize all three parts of the disease to be true to them and find their solution through working 12-steps.


The definition of addiction from this stand points goes like this, simply the physical allergy is the body’s reaction to drugs and alcohol. When an addict or alcoholic uses drugs or alcohol they find themselves unable to drink or use just one. They find themselves unable to stop and cannot tell you for how long they will end up using or drinking. This is where the saying “one is too many, and a thousand never enough.” Comes from. This is the first part to the definition of addiction.


The second part of the definition of addiction is the mental obsession. The mental obsession only becomes absolutely visible once an addict or alcoholic puts the drug or drink down. This is what causes people who have been clean to relapse time and time again and also causes people to have the inability to stop for long periods of time. The mental obsession is the thought of using drugs or alcohol to the point that no other thought enters their head. Obsession means literally a thought that blocks all other thoughts. This mental obsession cause the addict or alcoholic to think about using and drinking and eventually once this is established it’s almost a 100% chance that the alcoholic and addict will use drugs or drink again.


The third part of the definition of addiction and probably the most vital part is the spiritual malady. The spiritual malady is the reason our lives are unmanageable and why we feel disconnected to the people around us. This is especially paramount before and after we start using and drinking. This is what causes to go looking for a solution such as drugs and alcohol in the first place. It’s the deepseated misery due to whatever or due to nothing that makes it feel like the world is falling apart even if there is really nothing wrong.


Luckily for us there is a solution and it can be found within a 12-step program. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about the definition of addiction please don’t hesitate to call 877-711-HOPE(4673) or go to

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