Addiction, a Fascinating and Sometimes Complex Subject

The subject of addiction is a fascinating and, at times, complex subject. This is also true of depression and anxiety. This complexity is more evident for anyone not familiar with the various facets of addiction, depression, and anxiety.

Most addiction counsellors have been trained in schools of thought established on material codified to be presented as a training curriculum. These are taught at the college level up to universities. Various educational institutes offer this training.

 Man feeling anxious

Personal Experiences and Motivation

People entering this field will either be motivated to do so because of personal experience. Some have lost a loved one due to overconsumption of alcohol or a drug overdose. In other cases, the person was caught in some mind-altering substance and wished to understand their effects to help others.

No matter the reason for embarking on the journey. Learning about mind-altering substances, how they affect a person, and what can be done to break the cycle. One thing is certain: a mountain of information exists on the subject.

Research and Verifiable Data

But, as with many larger bodies of knowledge, a wide range of unverified information also exists. In the world of substance abuse, you will find quite a bit of conflicting data. One school will propose a chemical imbalance. Another proposes an ever-expanding list of “labelling” various drug depression and anxiety disorders.

There exists some research on the genetic disposition to addiction. In most cases, the information is verifiable and demonstrable. Others are based on guesses and suppositions, with little or no scientific fact to back it up.

So, what is addiction, and how does it relate to depression or anxiety, for that matter? One could spend many hours studying long-winded theories and extrapolations and trying to understand them. Or one can simply look and observe.

How Can Addiction Start

Beginning with a factual example, such as Jane, a 26-year-old meth addict who uses daily. She “turns tricks” to pay for her substance. Jane gets pregnant but only finds out about it three months after the fact. Unfortunately, drugs tend to make people unaware of their own person, not to mention the surrounding environment. Jane decides to keep the child and tries to stay clean, so she stops smoking Crystal Meth and smokes pot and drinks beer daily to cope.

How will this unborn child arrive in the world? One can conclude with this simple observation that the child is way more likely to have a predisposition to addiction. It is diagnosed. The medical field recognizes it as such. Okay, that was maybe too obvious.

 Newborn held by someone.
 Man sitting with hands to his face.

Case # 1

How about John, 42, who owns his business and works 60-plus hours a week? He keeps books, and contracts, interchanges with clients, sells to new customers, and keeps track of past buyers, suppliers, etc. etc. He is successful, and business is booming. At least, that is what we see.

Digging deeper, one finds that a few months ago, he told an employee how it was getting tough to keep up. This employee knows exactly what he needs—cocaine! John refuses when offered; he has never used it before. The employee is quite convinced. It will give him energy and a “spark.” A bit curious and seeking a solution to keep business booming, John tries it. He finds himself all speeded up and full of energy to keep going.

Coke now becomes John’s solution, which, after a while, becomes his new problem. Not long after, John’s habit threatens his business, marriage, family, friends, etc.

Case # 2

Then, we have another type of clientele, Sally, age 34, who, as far back as she can recall, is shy and withdrawn. She is not a social butterfly like some of her friends. At 17, she was teased as being a bore. She is also self-conscious about being a bit heavier than her friends.

She decides to consult with her family doctor. He tells her she is depressed and probably has borderline social anxiety disorder. He advises to consult a professional psych. And prescribes anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Sally does not like the side effects of these medications yet follows the doctors’ orders.

She tells people she doesn’t like to go to group events. She is not outgoing, not comfortable in crowds, etc. Her family would like to see her be more sociable. They even tell her that there must be something wrong with her. Sally begins to doubt herself even more. These unwanted emotions and feelings start to weigh on her. When Sally gets into her late 20s, she is now introverted and more isolated.

 Young lady texting.

The medication numbs the inhibition, and Jane starts attending clubs with friends. She is introduced to vodka. With the medication, it is quite a combination. At 34, she is labelled “disabled” on 2-3 medications and with an alcohol addiction. This situation may sound familiar to you.

One Side of the Coin

There are countless cases like those above in our current society. You may know someone who went through a similar ordeal. We are all faced with everyday challenges and decisions. How one responds to such issues will determine one’s life tomorrow.

The actual missing component for this society is education in dealing with everyday life situations. The death of a close loved one can be devastating; some people rebound from this shock relatively easily, while others do not. They require more time and understanding. Some simply do not know how.  

Many choose to numb the feeling. Drugs, medication, and alcohol do just that. They are all numbing agents. But they also numb out more than the unwanted feelings. They often alter the personality and render an individual “unfeeling” numb. Some will become an unthinking and immoral bio-chemical personality who cares only for the next “hit.”

A New Era Around the Corner

There are ways to address anxiety, depression, and addiction without resorting to more pills. Although some physicians do not, the medical field strives to find new solutions that do not include medication. These days, more doctors favour alternatives, and one should, too.

People in this present society, which is rolling at a supersonic pace, need other solutions. It requires life skills to help cope and address the daily issues that need handling. Any human being on earth is much more able and capable in their natural state than in some chemical straitjacket.


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