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I am not clear regarding the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary for the verb 'addict'.

Various transitive, but reflexive, meanings are stated and some of these appear to be obsolete.

The King James Bible in 1611 used the word in that way :

they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints I Corinthians 16:15.

If it can be said that certain pharmaceutical drugs are 'addictive' then surely they addict those who take them.

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    It is a non-standard use but it is clear what is meant. – user323578 Apr 26 at 11:54
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    As a speaker of American English, I wouldn't have blinked to read this. – Azor Ahai Apr 26 at 18:14
  • @JamesRandom Non-standard according to who? You? – only_pro Apr 26 at 19:28
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    @only_pro See KarlG's answer below. But if you have some examples of modern uses of the transitive verb as in the question then you could provide a very useful answer. – user323578 Apr 26 at 19:31
  • Incidentally, for any who many be wondering, the more common way to say this would be "I was addicted with one taste", or more idiomatically "I was hooked with one taste" – brichins Apr 26 at 20:03
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In Early Modern English the verb addict in the sense of ‘give over (to)’ could be used reflexively and transitively:

but if an ecclesiasticall persone whych by hys ordre and profession hath addicted himselfe to the seruice of god in especiall shall do homage to his lord he shall not say: i become your man bycause he hath professed himselfe to be the onely man of god: — Richard Taverner, The Principal Lawes, Customes, and Estatutes of England, 1540. EEBO

Theyr chiefe ruler (whom owre men supposed to bee a preeste) led them vp to the toppe of the towre, where they erected a banner and addicted the ilande to the dominion of the kynge of castyle, namynge it sancta crux, cozumella named sancta crux … Pietro Martire d’Anghiera, Richard Eden, trans., The Decades of the Newe Worlde or West India, 1555. EEBO

The reflexive sense survived into the 19th c.:

…indeed, it seems hardly possible that the great amount of business she transacted, and the indulgences of pomp and pleasure to which she addicted herself, could allow of the leisure necessary for literary pursuits. Mary Bowley, Universal History on Scriptural Principles, 1842.

The adjective, however, had the passive sense moderns now ascribe to the past participle:

…they are all togyther so addict to the vaine pleasurs of this world: — Thomas Becon, The Iewel of Ioye, 1550.

he a man most gentle of nature, and most addict to please her [the Queen] in all things not repugnant to god… John Konx, David Buchanan, The historie of the reformation of the Church of Scotland, 1644.

None of these usages, of course, are current.

It seems to me that in modern usage, addicted is as much an adjective as addict was in the 16th and 17th centuries. It hasn’t gone completely the way of the past participle afraid because addicted still looks and tastes like a participle. You might try to revive something like:

his strokes were so mortall that they affrayed not only the most feble of his enemyes but alle the most strengest and also the asseured meduse: William Caxton, trans., Raoul Lefévre, Historyes of Troye, 1474. EEBO

but I doubt you’d have much success.

On strictly grammatical grounds, however, a modern transitive construction doesn’t appear to work. The main difference is that in the obsolete meanings the to carries dative force: Cozumel was addicted to the king’s dominion; a priest addicted himself to God’s service.

Today, the desired stimulus of addiction is that to which one is addicted; it is not, strictly speaking, the agent. Opioids don’t addict you to themselves.And being addicted no longer carries the sense of ‘given over to’ but rather ‘habitually physically or psychologically dependent upon’.

Human agents, however, may force or persuade others to become addicted, literally or metaphorically, to something:

They addicted him to heroin then left him near dead in a ditch. His assistant, Raphael, never gave up searching for him. — Carolyn Spindler Kahn, The Fidelity Test, 2014, 237.

I think I addicted him to craps for life, however. Ah, well, a few losing rounds should cure him of that. — Amy Vernon.net blog post.

Since even in jest addict s.o. to s. t. implies no act of will on the part of the patient/direct object, one won’t find a construction such as *he addicted himself to opioids but only got/became addicted or he forced himself to become an addict or some such.

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    Yes, a very important conceptual point : the inert substance has no power to do anything. But an agent may addict somebody, using the inert article. – Nigel J Apr 26 at 11:34

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