Addiction is not at all a pretty picture. Severe addicts, whether they realize it or not, are in the clutches of a condition that can prove deadly. If not deadly, addiction is always destructive, at best. Many people become addicts because they convince themselves that they are in control of the situation. They tell themselves that there is nothing wrong with leaning on a substance or a process for release and their behavior is not out of line. This is the ugly face of denial leading them astray. No one wins when it comes to addiction.
The greatest threat that addiction poses to its victims is mortality. Obviously, some addictions come with a greater threat of mortality than others, but people have died because of more types of addictions than one would think. It is the lack of respect for how serious addiction is that causes mortality more than anything else. Substance addictions obviously pose the most serious threat because they often come with overdoses, shared needles and chemical poisoning. Sex addictions can involve sexually transmitted disease or asphyxiation. Food addictions frequently lead to deadly illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Most other addictions cause indirect mortality, for example, a person borrowing money from dangerous people to satisfy their gambling addiction, but can still cause a deadly situation if left unchecked.
When addiction does not take lives it all too often destroys them. Addicts begin to devalue their personal relationships because they are so wrapped up in their addiction. They neglect their financial responsibilities in order to finance their addiction. They lose sight of caring for their physical and mental health, and replace their personal responsibilities, hobbies and passions with focus on their addiction. Those who recover from their addiction have a lot of ground to cover to repair their lives, but those who do not recover often lose everything in their lives.