Misuse of The Word Addiction: What Does Addiction Really Mean?
People misuse words and phrases constantly. In fact, some people misuse words so much that they no longer know the true meaning of the word they are using over time. People seem to make up their own definitions for the words they use. The word addiction is a common word people tend to translation their own definition for. The misuse of the word addiction is everywhere you look. While some people may not think about the misuse of the word addiction as a big deal, it is.
Why is the misuse of the word addiction a big deal?
By misusing the word addiction, people are making light of an otherwise dark and depressing condition. While they may not intentionally mean to do this, they are. When someone who is actually suffering from this disease hears other people talk about addiction in the wrong context, it rightfully puts them in an unpleasant mood or in some cases they are able to chalk it up to the person who is misusing the word to be uneducated and can just move on from it.
Think about it from the perspective of an addict. For this example we will use an actress, whose name is not important, that came forward an admitted she had a tanning addiction. Yes that is correct, a tanning addiction. While certain people do have tanning addictions, this actress does not. She went on to talk about how she would go lay outside for 20 minutes every day to work on her tan. 20 minutes every day??? Most people would consider that a healthy amount of sun for the day. By the end of the article, it ended up being a plug for her skincare line she endorses.
Now think about this through the eyes of an addict, this actress came forward to the press and claimed she had an addiction and the press felt it was necessary to write an article on it. Where is her hardship and suffering from being in the sun for 20 minutes a day? Someone who has an addiction to heroin has a completely different view of addiction. Someone addicted to heroin might be living on the street, stealing from their family to pay for their addiction, or selling their bodies for just one more high. Addicts do not feel the need to come forward and admit that they are addicts. Most addicts live in shame or denial about their situation. They do not want anyone to know about what they are doing. Do you see the difference in the misuse of the word addiction? This actress views addiction as 20 minutes in the sun and on the other side, a heroin addicts version of addiction is lying, stealing, and in some cases death.
The definition of addiction according to dictionary.com is, “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.” Addiction seriously affects your life and the way you live. 20 minutes in the sun every day does not equal the same type of trauma as overdosing on heroin or going through withdrawal symptoms. The misuse of the word addiction from just one person can change the definition for hundreds. By this actress coming forward with her “addiction” people create a new definition for it.
Here’s another example about the misuse of the word “addiction.” A girl that really likes her lip gloss might say, “Oh my god, I am addicted to this stuff.” Her world will not come to an end if she never gets this lip gloss again nor will she go into convulsions or overdose if she applies too much lip gloss on her lips. Do you see the disconnect in this word? She believes that because she really likes, or is obsessed with, something that she is “addicted” to it. She is unaware with what it means to be addicted to something so bad that you are willing to ruin not only your life, but others around you as well. The misuse of the word “addiction” is very prevalent in today’s society to discuss major as well as minor issues. Many people do not realize that misusing the word “addiction” can offend others. We, as a society, must stray people away from misusing the word addiction and replace it with others.