Addiction is defined as the ‘fact or condition of being fixated to a particular substance or activity in a compulsive manner’ meaning that you rely on this substance or activity in your daily life. Across the majority of our news platforms ranging from social media to radio, we often hear of the negative effects of addiction and we mainly hear about this from the effects of smoking, drinking or drug use. Of course, these are all things that people can become easily addicted to as they are often dangerous and harmful to our body. But, I believe it is important to ask the question, why do we only focus on these substances, when there’s so many other things that humans could be addicted to?
Is it because these are the most common addictive substances? The answer is no. In reality, based on a number of worldwide scientific studies, sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine. We can now see that the media only outlines addictions that they believe to be harmful whilst sugar is the main cause of some of our worst diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It is important for us to understand that addiction is actually more prominent in our daily lives than we actually think and I am writing this article in the hopes that you will realise that you may have an underlying addiction in your life that is more harmful than you thing and how you can work towards changing it for your future. This can be found through asking yourself three questions:
Do I really have an addiction?
Addiction can come in a number of different parts of your life and I find that everyone I have ever met has an underlying addiction. Some may be open about these, whilst, others attempt to deny their addiction and some have no idea at all. As I am reaching my older teenage years, I have come to accept that I do have an addiction to fast food. I find this is because I have an exceptionally busy day to day routine and have come to eat McDonalds or Burger King every day because it is the easiest and cheapest food to gain access to. I find that it is hard for me to pull myself away from this and I continuously tell myself that it is okay to keep eating it because I am so busy. However, it is not good in any way whatsoever and my next step is to think how I can change these habits. For all readers, your first step in changing is to accept that you may actually be addicted to something even if you don’t realise it at first. This can come in many substances or services such as technology use and energy drinks. If you find that you are consuming these things in mass amounts and rely on them in your daily life, then you are addicted and it is time for you to change.
How does my addiction actually affect my daily life?
I find that addictions can affect your life in many different ways and it often seems to go unnoticed for a while. However, your addiction is most likely having a much worse negative effect on you than you may think, especially in your long term future. Having an addiction can cause you to lose focus on the things that should take priority in your life, such as being addicted to your smartphone can cause you to push away your school work and spend hours reading through Facebook articles or an addiction to fast food may cause you to become lazier and less productive in the areas that you should be such as sport. Many people may not even realise that they are affecting their life and as humans we like to push the truth out and replace it with lies as our mind reassures ourselves that what we are doing is ‘okay’. I am writing this to tell you that it’s not okay and it is time for you to open your eyes and realise that you need to stop your addiction immediately.
How will I be able to break my addiction?
This is a very subjective question as addiction needs to be dealt with differently for different personality types and it is very specific to the type of addiction that you have. However, with my experience, I have found that the key way to break your addiction is to obviously accept that you do have an addiction as I have explained before. Once you have done this, you can began to replace your addiction with more productive activities or consuming an alternative substance. This may take longer or shorter according to the person you are, but I believe that all people have the ability to break whatever addiction that they are faced with. I am only a student writing on my laptop and so I suggest if you are in serious need of help you should turn towards local counselling of whom will help you through the whole process of change.
Addiction is something that can be changed for every person and it is always important to ask yourself these three questions. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes it is hard for us to actually recognise what we are addicted too, but I want all people to understand that it is something more prominent in your life than you may actually of realised at first. I suggest all people to find what they are addicted to and break out of it now, before it it too late and it becomes increasingly difficult to break out.
Will Cole is a year 13 student with a passion to write and is pursuing a career in journalism. When he’s not at school, he runs the communications for his healthcare business www.clearfree.co.nz with two friends. See his weekly blog pieces here where he talks about the journey of a young entrepreneur and New Zealand’s current affairs.