Maybe you think a loved one has a problem with addiction, or maybe you’re worried about your own recent habits. “Addiction” doesn’t have to include drugs or alcohol. It can be food, smartphones, gaming and just about anything else that leaks into other parts of your life. You can’t help somebody who doesn’t want it, including yourself, but being open, honest and inviting can be the buoy necessary for healing.
Here are some of the best quotes on addiction that might serve as a wake-up call. If you suspect someone you know is an addict, don’t be afraid to let them know you care and are available to help. You just might be exactly who they need to take action:
On not playing favorites
“No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes and professions,” said Patrick J. Kennedy. Just because someone doesn’t “seem” like they’d be an addict doesn’t make them immune. Addiction can strike anyone at any time, and it’s not always obvious.
On leveling the playing field
Carl Jung said, “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” While this philosopher obviously squeezed in “idealism” to open up a conversation, his words on addiction still ring true. Just because there aren’t regular television characters with a lesser known addiction doesn’t make them any less prevalent or dangerous.
On the lack of “safe” addictions
“Smoking sucks! The one thing I would say to my kid is, ‘It’s not just that it’s bad for you. Do you want to spend the rest of your life fighting a stupid addiction to a stupid thing that doesn’t even really give you a good buzz?’” No one addiction is better or safe than another. Just because something is (somewhat) socially acceptable and it’s legal, that doesn’t mean it’s a smart move.
On willpower and addiction
George A. Sheehan quipped, “We may think there is willpower involved, but more likely change is due to want power. Wanting the new addiction more than the old one. Wanting the new me in preference to the person I am now.” There are varying levels of “addiction” and a person can become addiction to just about anything. The “addiction” to going just one more day clean and sober, eating healthily, or another challenge requires more than willpower (and it’s why professional help is so highly lauded with addiction).
On the diversity of addiction
“Anything that you can become obsessed with, and you do so much that you don’t do the things you need to do with family, friends, school, job, that can be an addiction. And texting absolutely can qualify,” says Dale Archer.