Addiction is a medical condition where individuals become dependent on the mood altering effects of a substance such as drugs or alcohol, or activities such as gambling or shopping, for a variety of reasons. These can include a need to relax, numb emotional pain, or escape problems. While addiction is treatable, it can often be chronic and degenerative and have widespread negative impacts on individuals and their families.
Addiction is surrounded by misunderstanding and social stigma. Institutions often blame individuals for their ‘moral failing’ rather than addressing the complex social, economic, biological, and psychological issues at play. Access to treatment can also be divided along class and racial lines, with underprivileged communities receiving criminal punishment rather than health support. To combat this, there are numerous communities and organisations promoting awareness, treatment, and belonging for survivors of addiction and their families.
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