The cycle of addiction

Identifying the problem and its root causes


Graphic by Margaret Debenport

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

This is the last time. Those five words have been said numerous times by those who ironically have many “last times.” Words that reassure the mind what you’re doing isn’t an issue and you have control over it all, telling yourself that you could stop anytime you wanted. But do you?

As teens, many are quick to either overlook or know little to nothing about this issue. Some who are fully aware of what they’re doing don’t view it as an addiction yet and others aren’t aware of what an addiction even is.

The technical meaning of addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity.” Doing something or taking something repeatedly to make oneself feel better is an addiction.

The “thing” or “things” that are appearing to affect so many and create actual issues among the teens; vaping, drinking and smoking.

Vaping, which is marketed as the “safer” option, caught the eyes of teens, and with that it grew into a worldwide problem. About 13 percent of 8th graders, 24 percent of 10th graders and nearly 28 percent of 12th graders at U.S. schools reported using a vaping device in the past year, according to the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.

Aside from vaping, the two other addictions that many teens face are from drinking and smoking.

Although many teens may be underage, the process of obtaining alcohol is getting easier and easier. This makes the drinking addiction a problem, as teens have easy access to alcohol.

The same can be said about smoking; find someone to supply and the matter of not smoking will never come up.

It’s all resting on the act of getting caught. As long as the teens don’t get caught they’re going to continue to do what they want, whether it be drinking, smoking or vaping.

They don’t see it as an addiction, usually just something they like to do. A fun activity with friends on the weekend.

Addiction is a cycle, one that is hard to stop.