Defining addiction remains a daunting task for the medical and academic communities. An uncontrollable craving for a substance or chemical, characterized by a painful withdrawal when the drug is removed, forms the most common definition of addiction, yet this definition falls short of describing the place of drugs in the minds of those who use them for inspiration. Several Native American cultures, for example, employ psychoactive drugs such as peyote and magic mushrooms in religious rituals. Such use can hardly be called that of the addict. Many writers have experimented with altered states of consciousness, however, until they have become addicts. The literature of addiction may therefore be thought of as literature that seeks to render the intense psychological states wrought by drugs, whether euphoric, epiphanic, hellish, or insane. Writers have revealed the immense pain brought about by addiction on the user and the user’s family. A last aspect of addiction, recovery, is also chronicled in many literary works.