Our Voice

ADDICTION II

We are all addicts, addicted to something.  All of us are simply dependant upon things in our lives which we can not do without.  When we are that dependant, out of control, we are addicted to substance or outlet, whether we acknowledge that or not.

In fact, we can call that ADDICTION LITE.  The lesser things to which we are addicted may not rise to the level of alcoholism, or steroid use, or hard drug use.  But they are in fact lesser addictions nonetheless, and we should recognize them as such.

Take caffeine for example.  There are millions every day who can not make it through the day without caffeine.  Hundreds of millions the world over start the day with coffee or tea, caffeine at work.  The brain simply won’t function adequately without the drug.  There was once a man I knew who bragged about the fact he drank 10 to 12 cups of coffee daily and slept like a baby.  For most of us, if we consumed that much caffeine, we would spend the entire day with nervous reactions and the shakes, which would simply not allow us to function.  Caffeine exists everywhere, coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate, even simple over-the-counter medications, and our bodies can easily become dependant upon this insidious drug.  How much caffeine do you consume?  Are you addicted to this drug?

And then there is sugar.  There are many people of faith who condemn alcoholism, or even the consumption of any alcoholic beverage such as a glass of wine, in a strong self righteous way.  Many of those same individuals would never go one day without that large hot fudge sundae, loaded with calories and dripping with fat and sugar.  Most of us consume sugar and sweets every day.  I wonder if we are addicted tot his LITE drug and whether we could live life without it.  Are you?

There are people who consume aspirin or other over-the-counter pain medications every day.  Some of us take a baby aspirin daily in order to prevent heart attack or stroke.  Others consume mammoth quantities of Advil, or Motrin, or Excedrin, during the day, or at night to sleep.  Tylenol PM is an extremely large selling drug, its capsules consumed by the millions every day.  I wonder if you are addicted to over-thecounter painkillers and whether you or I could live a day without Advil. Are you addicted to Advil?

Some of us may be addicted to vitamins, taking far more than we need, self-prescribing doses and types and otherwise dramatically impacting the body.  Some of it is for the good, but clearly, vitamin overuse can be harmful, sometimes extremely harmful to the body, interfering with bodily functions and with other medications.  I wonder how many vitamins and minerals you consume, and are you addicted?

And there is the horrible LITE addiction of smoking.  The drugs in tobacco products may be the most addicting of any.  It is a habit once engaged which is almost impossible to give up.  The drugs in tobacco so dominate the body, including and especially the lungs, and the psychological satisfaction of lighting, holding and otherwise experiencing the full effect of a tobacco product, are addicting in the worst possible way.  If you smoke, you have the battle of a lifetime trying to quit.  Smoking is universally regarding as one of the top contributors to disease, and in some cases the first cause.  Some studies indicate that smoking and drinking alcohol at the same time have an effect upon the body similar to ingesting a hard drug.  If you smoke for any length of time, you have done damage to your body, permanently so, and you will pay for the rest of your life.  If you smoke, I do hope you realize the unbelievably horrific effect on your body and that you are under addiction in the worst way.
Then there are those who are workaholics.  They work far too long, too much.  Workaholics can not relax, vacation properly, always thinking about or needing work.  That is a real addiction.
And so is exercise to extreme.  There is anorexia and bulimia and this maniacal America fetish for thin.  Fat of any kind is obnoxious and those who are fat, that is overweight or obese, are looked upon as though there is something wrong.  Being overweight itself is a disease, and perhaps an addiction, that is an addiction to the eating and drinking which causes the overweight status.  One can easily be addicted to food, especially the wrong kinds, and that is an addiction so difficult to end.
So, I wonder what you are addicted to, even as I wonder what I am addicted to.  Addiction is addiction, whether severe or lite, whether socially acceptable (overeating) or not, even criminal (crack-cocaine).  But, we are all dependant upon something.  We need some thing or things to help us make it through the day and we really would have extreme difficulty making it through the day without those drugs.  Life can be passionate, wonderful, most enjoyable, and of course lived to excess at any time.  We all will indulge ourselves one way or another, with some substance or another, and perhaps that is human.  It is a matter ultimately of what we can control.  If we can do without it, whatever it is, perhaps we are not addicted.  If we can not, if we are dependant upon that substance, whatever it is, than we are in fact addicted and we should deal with it.  He that is without sin, addiction, let him cast the first stone.  Get rid of the moat, the smoking, the overeating, the over-the-counter-drugs in your own life so that you can see clearly to help others with addictions like drug abuse.  Perhaps only faith, the power of God Almighty, can really help us cure an addiction.

Crawford Broadcasting Company