Sunday, May 26, 2024

What Is The Definition Of Addiction

Defining Features Of Addiction

What Is Addiction? Definition, Simple Test and Causes

Two aspects that all addictions have in common:

  • The addictive behavior is maladaptive. The behavior causes problems for the individual or those around them. So instead of helping the person cope with situations or overcome problems, it tends to undermine these abilities.
  • The behavior is persistent. When people are addicted, they will continue to engage in the addictive behavior despite the trouble it causes. So an occasional weekend of self-indulgence is not an addiction, although it may cause different kinds of problems. Addiction is characterized by frequent engagement in the behavior.

Learning And The Environment

The complexity of environmental influences on drug and alcohol use suggests that cultural and psychological mechanisms must be taken into account. Cultural and psychological mechanisms have been suggested by symbolic interactionism and social learning theory. In a classical article, Becoming a marijuana user, Howard Becker presented a model for learning the correct way to interpret the effects of cannabis through social interaction with other users. His point of view was that cannabis did not give euphoria until the user learns to recognize the effects and connect them with drug use and learns to enjoy the sensations he perceives.

Several developments have been made in this area of theory, and Becker’s radical view is now generally considered obsolete. Social learning theory has suggested several potentially important mechanisms . For instance, expectations about drug effects can have an impact on both the effects of drug use and consumptive behaviour . The environmental factors that influence substance use in humans are in summary more cultural than socio-economic. The right to drink alcohol has in Western societies been a symbol of independence and power that has been associated with the Caucasian adult male . It is the symbolic meaning of substance use and its variations across cultures, times and groups that defines the environmental influences on substance use in humans .

Treatment Options For Alcoholism

How to stop drinking: If you suspect that you or someone you care about has an AUD, it may be time to seek professional help. No matter how serious the problem seems, people can recover from alcoholism and live happier, more productive lives.

NIAAA reports that alcohol addiction treatment can be very effective, with research showing that about 1/3 of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later.

Many people are able to significantly reduce their drinking and suffer from fewer alcohol-related problems after treatment.15

You can take several steps to help rehabilitate yourself or someone you care about from AUD, including:

  • Having an intervention.
  • Entering a medical detox facility to help manage a potentially-severe acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome when quitting use.
  • Beginning an alcohol treatment/rehabilitation program.
  • Engaging in aftercare once the treatment process is complete.

Read Also: Why Do Drug Addicts Scratch Themselves

Getting Help For Addictions

Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help. You could see your GP for advice or contact an organisation that specialises in helping people with addictions.

You can use the following online directories to find addiction treatment services in your area:

What Is An Addiction To Drugs


A drug addiction is a mental and/or physical dependency on a natural or synthetic chemical substance.

Drugs are considered any psychoactive substance that creates temporary changes to the body or brain. They can be either legal or illegal. Caffeine, nicotine, meth, cocaine, and even prescription medicines and alcohol, are drugs. All drugs have the potential to be addictive.

Read Also: How To Get Over Love Addiction

Historical Views On Addiction

The use of psychoactive substances has been around for nearly as long as recorded history, with evidence of Greeks using opium both medically and spiritually in 10,000 BCE. Around 5,000 BCE, there were reports of alcohol being used to levels of intoxication in Egypt. Cannabis, opium, and alcohol are substances commonly seen throughout history, with almost 2,000 references to wine and vineyards in the Bible alone, and evidence of marijuana use dating back tens of thousands of years in Europe and Taiwan. The attitudes and perceptions towards substances have changed over the years, with religious, cultural, and industrial influences impacting those opinions.

Religious influences have been and still are a weighing factor for those who practice religion. In the Bible, drinking alcohol was acceptable in moderation but was seen as sinful to drink to excess. The temperance movement of the late 19th century solidified the belief that alcohol use was immoral and was demonstrated by the prohibition movement. Today, alcohol use is generally accepted in American culture and is even sometimes promoted and advertised as glamorous, but some religions like Islam and Buddhism reject alcohol, and others like certain branches of Christianity view any excess alcohol use as immoral.

What Is The Difference Between Physical Dependence Tolerance And Addiction

Physical dependence can occur with the regular use of any substance, legal or illegal, even when taken as prescribed. It occurs because the body naturally adapts to regular exposure to a substance . When that substance is taken away, symptoms can emerge while the body re-adjusts to the loss of the substance. Physical dependence can lead to craving the drug to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance is the need to take higher doses of a drug to get the same effect. It often accompanies dependence, and it can be difficult to distinguish the two. Addiction is a chronic disorder characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, despite negative consequences.

Recommended Reading: What Drugs Are The Most Addictive

How Do Drugs Work In The Brain To Produce Pleasure

Nearly all addictive drugs directly or indirectly target the brains reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. When activated at normal levels, this system rewards our natural behaviors. Overstimulating the system with drugs, however, produces effects which strongly reinforce the behavior of drug use, teaching the person to repeat it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sex Addiction

What is Addiction? Part 1 | Addiction Defined | Recovery 2.0

In general, compulsive sexual behavior covers a broad array of symptoms.

These behaviors range in intensity and severity, but to be considered signs of mental health condition, they have to be evident across many situations and over an extended period of time.

According to the ICD-11, signs of compulsive sexual behavior disorder include:

  • a significant preoccupation with sexual fantasies, impulses, and behaviors
  • repetitive sexual activities to satisfy such fantasies and impulses
  • unsuccessful attempts at stopping or decreasing sexual fantasies, impulses, and behaviors
  • experiencing distress and significant challenges in relationships, occupational activities, and other important areas as a result of the compulsive sexual behaviors and impulses

Another important aspect of compulsive sexual behavior disorder is the duration of symptoms.

The ICD-11 says that you need to experience sex addiction symptoms for six months or longer to receive a diagnosis.

Its important to also keep in mind cultural differences.

Feeling guilty, ashamed, or distressed about your sexual behaviors might be more common in some people than others. In this case, experiencing this type of distress wouldnt by itself mean you have a sexual addiction.

Don’t Miss: What Are The 12 Steps Of Addiction Recovery

Do You Like Audiobooks And Podcast

audibleplusSpecial offer!

Addiction, therefore, has serious consequences in the daily lives of addicts. An addiction can cause problems Healthdamage to human bonds, inconveniences at work, etc.

There are various symptoms that come to make it clear that a person in question is under the influence of an addiction. Specifically, among the most significant are the following: Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once very important. Weight changes. Anger and nervousness of the addict when someone tells him that he is. Weakness and difficulty falling asleep. Pictures of anxiety, stress or depression.

In any of the existing types of addiction, the fundamental thing is that the person who wishes to recover follows the following advice: You must openly tell your partner, family or friends that you intend to leave the situation. You should ask the people around you to help you and to be by your side when you need it. It is essential that you are clear that you should stop going to places where you can get back in touch with what has caused you to be addicted. It is also essential that he be aware that because he has this addiction he is not a bad person but simply a sick person.

The drug addiction or drug dependence is addiction to drugs and involves an unsuccessful effort to stop use , a reduction in daily activities due to taking the drug, and suffering from a withdrawal syndrome when use is stopped.

Stimulus Control Of Behavior

The term “behavioral addiction” refers to a compulsion to engage in a natural reward â which is a behavior that is inherently rewarding â despite adverse consequences. Preclinical evidence has demonstrated that marked increases in the expression of ÎFosB through repetitive and excessive exposure to a natural reward induces the same behavioral effects and neuroplasticity as occurs in a drug addiction.

Reviews of both clinical research in humans and preclinical studies involving ÎFosB have identified compulsive sexual activity â specifically, any form of sexual intercourse â as an addiction . Moreover, reward cross-sensitization between amphetamine and sexual activity, meaning that exposure to one increases the desire for both, has been shown to occur preclinically and clinically as a dopamine dysregulation syndrome ÎFosB expression is required for this cross-sensitization effect, which intensifies with the level of ÎFosB expression.

Reviews of preclinical studies indicate that long-term frequent and excessive consumption of high fat or sugar foods can produce an addiction . This can include chocolate. Chocolates’ sweet flavour and pharmacological ingredients is known to create a strong craving or feel ‘addictive’ by the consumer. A person who has a strong liking for chocolate may refer to themselves as a chocoholic. Chocolate is not yet formally recognised by the DSM-5 as a diagnosable addiction.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Addictive Substance In Alcohol

Examples Of Addicted In A Sentence

addicted USA TODAYaddicted refinery29.comaddicted Rolling Stoneaddicted CBS Newsaddicted Forbesaddicted Forbesaddicted Forbesaddicted

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘addicted.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

New Definition Of Addiction: Addiction Is A Chronic Brain Disease Not Just Bad Behavior Or Bad Choices

American Society of Addiction Medicine
When people see compulsive and damaging behaviors in friends or family members — or public figures such as celebrities or politicians — they often focus only on the substance use or behaviors as the problem. However, these outward behaviors are actually manifestations of an underlying disease that involves various areas of the brain, according to a new definition.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has released a new definition of addiction highlighting that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavioral problem involving too much alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex. This the first time ASAM has taken an official position that addiction is not solely related to problematic substance use.

When people see compulsive and damaging behaviors in friends or family members — or public figures such as celebrities or politicians — they often focus only on the substance use or behaviors as the problem. However, these outward behaviors are actually manifestations of an underlying disease that involves various areas of the brain, according to the new definition by ASAM, the nation’s largest professional society of physicians dedicated to treating and preventing addiction.

To read the full Definition of Addiction, visit:

Explore the latest scientific research on sleep and dreams in this free online course from New Scientistâ

Story Source:

Recommended Reading: Is My Son Addicted To Video Games

Short Definition Of Addiction

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with ones behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

The Science Behind Addiction

The brain functions with the aid of neurotransmitters, which act as messengers, travelling from one part of the brain to the next, in order to fulfil a purpose. Its something like a game of pass the baton. A neurotransmitter travels through a neuron, binds to a receptor on the next neuron, signalling the neurotransmitter of the next neuron to do the same.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with the internal reward system and is one of the biological factors responsible for addiction. When a person engages in a rewarding behaviour or consumes a drug, their brain gets far more dopamine than normal. risking dependency and addiction.

Although dopamine is the main neurotransmitter associated with the brains reward system, other ones, such as serotonin, endorphins, GABA, and norepinephrine can be affected by addiction.

In the case of drugs, a substance can mimic a neurotransmitter, trigger the production of more neurotransmitters, or block the reuptake of a neurotransmitter. Cocaine, for example, hijacks dopamine pathways by blocking dopamine reuptake.

No matter what happens on the cellular level, the brain essentially becomes flooded with dopamine.

Although there are no extra substances involved, behavioural addictions affect the reward system in a similar manner.

With repeated stimulation, dependence and addiction become more and more likely.

Recommended Reading: What Percentage Of Homeless People Are Addicts

Does Relapse To Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed

No. The chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing to drug use is not only possible but also likely. Relapse rates are similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses such as hypertension and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors. Lapses back to drug use indicate that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed. No single treatment is right for everyone, and treatment providers must choose an optimal treatment plan in consultation with the individual patient and should consider the patients unique history and circumstance.

Other Signs Of Sex Addiction

What is Addiction – Definition: Educational Medical Lecture Series by Dr. Muhammed Niaz

Because its not a formal diagnosis, signs of sex addiction are not established.

On the other hand, not everyone living with compulsive sexual behavior will experience the exact same symptoms or with the same intensity. In fact, signs can take many forms depending on the unique circumstances of your case.

Some potential signs of compulsive sexual behavior include persistent and uncontrollable activities like:

  • watching pornography
  • engaging in sexual activities that put your safety at risk
  • neglecting other aspects of your life to prioritize sexual activities

For example, you may have intense urges to watch pornography all the time. You may skip work or school to stay home to watch porn.

You might even lock yourself in the office bathroom to watch it on your phone. This, in turn, can lead to problems with your productivity and professional relationships.

You may be aware of this problem and it may cause you an intense deal of distress. Despite this, you find yourself unable to stop watching porn.

This might be a sign of a compulsive sexual behavior or out of control sexual behavior.

That said, you may enjoy watching porn frequently, but you know when to stop, and you do it at will whenever you need to attend to other businesses.

In this case, watching porn is likely not a sign of sex addiction. Youre able to stop yourself from doing it when needed, and the activity is not a cause of distress in your life.

Also Check: What Is The Cycle Of Addiction

The Other Side Of The Addiction Concept

Putting a theme on the agenda is not the same as successfully resolving the problem. The addiction concept can be used for other purposes than simple awareness raising. For instance, patients may use the addiction concept to distance their own use of a substance from others use, and therefore in fact make light of their use.

The International Classification Of Diseases 10th Revision

The International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision includes diagnoses of harmful use for alcohol or substance dependence, for any substance, including alcohol. Harmful alcohol use is defined as heavy alcohol use , and that overuse of alcohol has caused physical harm , psychological harm or has led to harmful social consequences .

Substance dependence is defined by either current use or a current persistent and strong desire to use the substance, plus two or more of the following: continued substance use despite harm, difficulty controlling use, tolerance, and withdrawal.

Read Also: How To Conquer Sugar Addiction

Is Alcoholism Hereditary

According to the DSM-5, alcoholism is believed to have a strong heritable component, with between 4060% of the variance of risk being attributable to genetic factors.2 However, there is no cut-and-dry formula to explain alcoholism.

It is a multifaceted and complex disease, so while someone may inherit a predisposition to the disorder, genes do not fully determine a persons outcome.

The way genes are affected by environmental factors plays an important role in AUD.8 For example, being around parental figures who abuse alcohol, being exposed to peers who are heavy alcohol users, and using alcohol for the first time at an early age, can all influence the development of AUD.

- Advertisement -spot_img
Popular Articles
Related news