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What Is a Ritual?

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Updated August 06, 2010

Definition: A ritual is a set of actions, which often have symbolic value. Rituals are most well-known in religious practices. People with addictions tend to develop rituals in the ways that they procure addictive substances and carry out addictive behaviors. Rituals are an important part of the addictive process, since addicts may expend as much energy in the rituals of addictions as the substance or behavior itself.
Pronunciation: rich-oo-ul
Also Known As: custom, ceremony, procedure
Examples:

The ritual of scoring the drugs, preparing the works and shooting up was as much a part of Joanna's addiction as the drug itself.

Kenneth loved the ritual of showering, dressing, grooming, then cruising for sex in the same downtown bars every night.

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