I am looking for a single word that can be said in replacement of the activity, substance, etc. that an addict is addicted to. eg: In the case that someone is addicted to smoking cigarettes, what would the official title given to the cigarette be?

An addict (person) is addicted to a _____ (object).

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    The addiction??? A sample sentence is really needed to know if any answers are going to work. – Laurel Mar 1 '18 at 0:50
  • Ryley, what did your search engine, thesaurus and dictionary show when you did the basic research, please? – Robbie Goodwin Mar 1 '18 at 1:02
  • An addict is addicted to a reward. – Nigel J Apr 3 '18 at 9:28

One may get addicted to any of various addictives:

addictive (plural addictives)
. A drug that causes an addiction.
. Anything that is very habit-forming.

  • This isn't in the more authoritative dictionaries I've checked yet, but it's almost guaranteed to be standard in the near future. Compare the nouning of sedative, laxative.... – Edwin Ashworth Apr 4 '18 at 20:37

As in "John's vice is cigarettes"
It does have a much wider usage though - can be used to refer to an action, habit or attribute that is considered a weakness.


It can be called the addictive substance, or simply drug. Sometimes people use drug or fix to describe their sugar addiction.

  • Drug is the best word so far. Look it up in the dictionary, it's not even a metaphor because "something addictive" is given as a definition. – Zebrafish Apr 4 '18 at 5:43
  • The question asks about "activity, substance, etc." - a workaholic or chocoholic is not addicted to a drug. Some people are addicted to exercising, or TV, etc. – nnnnnn Nov 8 '20 at 0:29

Vice - I wouldn't use drug because you can be addicted to more things that just drugs. Everyone has a vice though, something they use to help as a coping mechanism. A vice could be anything; food, weed, actual drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee or caffeine, sex, sleep, fighting, etc.

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    Hi, welcome to EL&U. This would benefit from a citation, as it fits, but the same answer is already given. You can improve your answer with a citation or try another. Please do take a moment to tour the site and read the FAQ. – livresque Nov 7 '20 at 23:52
  • Some people are addicted to exercise - would you call that a vice? – nnnnnn Nov 8 '20 at 6:53

This is a bit of a stretch but I think it could work:


device used for an infant to suck or bite on (WordNet)

(I believe this is called a dummy in the UK, a binky or soother in Canada.)

You can also call it "your poison," as in

Pick your poison (inviting someone to choose an alcoholic beverage).

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