By Lianne Audette
When you think of addiction, what comes to mind? Alcoholism? Injectingheroin? Smoking crack? Alcoholics Anonymous? All true and accurate depictions, but they are just a wee twig of a large tree with enormous, twisty roots. What about video gaming, running, shopping, smoking, sex, eating, gambling, obsessive thinking, compulsive behaviors, hating, despairing, wanting? Do you know that there are 12-step programs for all of the issues above, and more programs springing up all the time? Think about the chronic conditions that many of our patients suffer from, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, and fatigue. Left to their own devices and desperate to medicate themselves, many people will turn to addictive substances. Some will be bought on the street and some prescribed by their physician. Too often pharmaceuticals are prescribed over and over again, often with little success and with little or no follow up, until the patient is well into the downward spiral of addiction. And, sad to say, the cause of the problem remains untreated.