Picture in your mind an illness stalking the four corners of America. An illness with the enormous power of wiping out human lives. An illness that plays no favorites to the young or the old. That makes no distinction between the rich or the poor. That sees no color. And pays no attention at all to religious or spiritual affiliation.
Visualize this disease as robbing people of their physical health. Of robbing a person of his intellect - of taking away her spiritual beliefs. A disease so subtle that it begins unnoticed and then grows to gigantic proportions in a short amount of time.
This disease has been known to take over its victims as young as nine years old. Striking one in every four humans at sometime in their life. Costing this country over 240 billion dollars a year in health care costs. Driving those under its spell to a life of self-destruction. It has caused many to commit suicide. Placing others on the road to crime. Putting others in the grip of insanity. Destroying whole families in the wink of an eye. Imagine this illness so forceful that it corrupts the mind of all those who are stricken by it. Altering their judgment and reasoning to the point of convincing them that they are sane. A disease so cunning and powerful that it persuades those under its spell that they have no disease. That they are overcome with external conditions and not a physical, mental, and spiritual illness. An illness so cruel that it inflicts pain and suffering, not only on those that have it, but also on all those who are close to the one affected.This disease is addiction. (Somdahl 19) .