Common characteristics of addictions:

  • An overwhelming compulsion to continually use an agent and a resulting drive to obtain it by any means necessary.
  • A condition called "tolerance," where over time there tends to be a need for increased amounts of an agent to obtain the desired effects.
  • A psychological and/or physical dependence such that failure to obtain the agent results in withdrawal pain or discomfort.
  • A high tendency to relapse, even after a person has broken away from habitual use for a period of time.
  • A detrimental effect on the individual and/or society.

The Truth is that any habit in your life that is not totally under your voluntary control displays an addictive element--whether or not it is called an addiction.


Some people never break free of their most ingrained habits of the fallacy of "moderation." An individual who has a compulsive relationship to a food can no more use it moderately than an alcoholic can return to "moderate" drinking or a nicotine addict can return to "moderate" smoking. In dealing with any addictive habit, total abstinence for life is necessary.

Look seriously at your lifestyle and the habits that are undermining your health. You may identify areas where abrupt changes need to be made in your life, yet you have no desire to make such drastic changes. Your lack of desire may be related to the pleasure that the habit gives, or your fear of failure. However, you will learn that changing even your most cherished habits will actually give you more pleasure in the long run. There is hope that you can overcome your addictions. 

Reference: Proof Positive: How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle

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