Whilst many people use the word addiction in a very general sense to cover a lot of normal day life activities, in the context of 12 step recovery it has a very definite and specific place.
The 12 step recovery movement began with Alcoholics Anonymous, and over time grew to include huge numbers of people who suffered addiction to other substances and behaviours, resulting in 12 step organisations such as Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous.
The nature of all these other 12 step recovery organisations was that they substituted a particular substance or behaviour for alcohol, and used the same 12-step recovery program for that specific addiction rather than for alcohol.
In that context, addiction became seen as a widespread illness, with the person who had the illness often referred to as an addictive personality, and their substance or behaviour being referred to as their drug of choice.
This idea of an addictive personality and of that personality using their drug of choice is not accepted by a significant number of people, although the nature of specific addictions and the problems they cause, and the recovery help available intervals of organisations is generally acknowledged.
ADDICTION and RECOVERY
The nation of an addictive personality stemmed largely from treatment centres and rehabs, where the more cynical view is that they used this concept as a way of furthering their client base, initially only been able to treat people who are alcoholics.
The idea of an addictive personality allowed them to treat people with the same recovery process, irrespective of their addiction, as all the focus went on treating the individual.
The nature of addiction is still widespread, and for many people it can create unbelievable have and chaos in their lives, both internally and externally.
The 12 step recovery process has a number of critics, and is by no means perfect, but does in many ways offer the best hope and chance of recovery for people whose lives are blighted, or trapped in the cycle of alcoholism or drug addiction.
Anyone entering a rehab treatment center is likely to be able to take a certain amount of hope and of value in the wide variety of addiction treatment programs that are offered.