From Vices to Diseases: The Reality of Addictions

In our Hispanic community, we often see the problem of alcohol and other addictions as something normal or a simple ‘vice.’ But it’s important to understand that addictions are complex diseases, not just a lack of willpower.

Many factors can contribute to a person developing addictions, such as family problems, upbringing, or traumatic experiences.

It’s crucial to recognize early signs of addiction, such as changes in behavior or mood, to seek help in time.

On “Without Mental Health There is No Health,” talked about vices, addictions, and how they affect mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions about Addictions and Vices

What types of addictions are common in the Hispanic community?

Primarily alcohol use, which is very normalized, and also gambling. Both are often seen as vices rather than diseases.

How is a vice different from an addiction?

While a vice is associated with a lack of character or willpower, addiction is considered a disease similar to diabetes, with genetic, social, and cultural components.

What are some signs that someone might be developing an addiction?

Changes in mood (excessive happiness followed by irritability), neglect of personal appearance, and problems in personal or work relationships can be indicative.

What are the most common types of addictions?

Alcoholism is very common due to its cultural normalization, followed by addictions to gambling and other substances like marijuana.

Is marijuana addictive?

Although there is no consensus, one can develop dependency and withdrawal symptoms when stopping its use, indicating addictive potential.

How is anxiety associated with addictions managed?

Various strategies are used, such as stress management skills (coping skills), symptom recognition, and psychological support to deal with unpleasant sensations associated with withdrawal.

What is the first step for someone who thinks they might be developing an addiction?

Recognizing the problem and its consequences is essential. This includes evaluating changes in physical, mental, and social health and seeking professional help if necessary.

What resources are available for those seeking help in the community?

Clinics like North Suffolk Community Services offer mental health and addiction services, with care in several languages and accessibility to evaluate and treat addiction problems.

To receive services at, you must go to the clinic located in East Boston, at 14 Porter Street.

For more information about mental health, visit our Mental Health Vblog and find free resources.