a/the monkey on somebody's back

monkey on (one's) back

1. slang A drug addiction. Did you hear? Pete checked himself into rehab to deal with the monkey on his back. I've been clean and sober for nearly five years, but I can still feel the monkey on my back breathing down my neck.
2. A persistent burden or problem. This project is such a monkey on my back right now—I can't wait for it to be over. Trust me, don't get in debt. You don't want that monkey on your back.
See also: back, monkey, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a/the ˌmonkey on somebody’s ˈback

1 a difficult problem that somebody cannot solve or get rid of: The accusations of fraud remain a monkey on her back.
2 (slang) the state of being unable to stop using drugs
See also: back, monkey, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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