Some sharing stories in meetings are so familiar they seem to be part of addict racial memory.
"I've been clean for six years, but then alcohol . . ."
"But it's medical marijuana . . ."
"I couldn't see how one drink would hurt . . ."
"Prescription drugs are medicine, aren't they?"
And so on, the addict and his or her disease looking for the loopholes in recovery, each loophole leading back to the nightmare.
With addiction, we are talking about mood altering substances and behaviors. The addiction is not to a particular chemical or card game. The addiction is to the alteration of mood. In illustration:
For many years, the treatment for pain in surgical procedures was opium. The result, of course, was a disturbing number of opium addicts. Around the time of the American Civil War, researchers came up with a non-addictive pain-killer they called morphine. The result was so many morphine addicts that addiction became known as "Old Soldier's Disease." In later attempts to come up with a non-addictive substitute for morphine, the result was a new non-addictive pain-killer called heroin. All three drugs altered moods, hence all three drugs were addictive.
Same with sugar, food, sex, porn, video games, gambling, religion, overwork (as in workaholism), smoking and so on. If you do it, and doing it causes you life problems, and you keep on doing it, you are an addict.