According to its definition, addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (such as narcotics) to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Ethanol, also known as alcohol, is an extremely addictive drug that long has and continues to affect many (Diaz-Anzaldua, 159). The novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is the story of educated scientist Henry Jekyll, who becomes overly dependent on a chemical potion he has invented. Drinking the potion affects Jekyll both psychologically and physically. This research paper will demonstrate the similarities between Jekyll's transformation into Hyde brought on by his addiction, and a person's transformation from sober to drunk brought on by alcohol abuse. .
Jekyll thinks that testing the potion on himself won't be too harmful. Jekyll, however, quickly becomes extremely addicted to the chemical potion even though Jekyll's transformation into Hyde brings him major problems; he hurts himself and the people around him. Hyde is violent, dangerous, and wants always to be under the effects of the potion. Jekyll behaves much like an alcoholic and even shares many negative experiences associated with alcoholism. Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include neglecting your responsibilities, experiencing legal problems on account of your drinking, continuing to drink even though drinking is causing problems in your relationships, and drinking as a way to relax or de-stress, which is also considered as involuntary addiction (Smith, 1). .
Many drinking problems start when looking to drink to self-soothe; like getting drunk on or after a stressful day (Smith, 1). Jekyll, at first, enjoys taking the potion: "There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new, and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet.