An Addiction structure a variation of a Shifting the Burden structure in which the side effect which results is an addiction to the symptomatic solution. This structure is composed of two balancing loops and a reinforcing loop. It is a very annoying structure because the two balancing loops act as a single reinforcing loop migrating the situation in the same direction as the reinforcing loop. Both structures cooperate in moving the system in a direction other than the one desired.

In the above diagram a problem symptom is perceived with multiple possible courses of action. One course of action, the symptomatic solution has an apparent time frame advantage over the fundamental solution because of other associated delay. As a result the problem symptom influences the application of the symptomatic solution. Application of the symptomatic solution reduces the problem symptom which dissolves the perceived necessity of pursuing the fundamental solution. A failure to implement the fundamental solution ensures that the problem symptom will return. Let's face it, band aids on cut knees don't keep one from falling of bicycles.

As if this wasn't annoying enough, implementation of the symptomatic solution, in time, influences the development of unintended side effects, which are often further preclude employing the fundamental solution. In the case of the Addition structure one actually becomes addicted to the side effect that develops.

The interactions between the problem symptom, symptomatic solution, side effect, and fundamental solution form a viscous reinforcing loop which make the real source of the problem, in time, even more difficult to resolve.

Managing the structure

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