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What defines addiction?

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by joesstagerjob, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. joesstagerjob

    joesstagerjob Member

    What is addiction? How does it affect the body and the brain?

    Everyone has an idea that's generally the same on what an addiction is with slightly varying differences. But what do you feel defines an addiction in your own words?
  2. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Addiction is a chronic relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain.
    Addictive substances induce pleasant states or relieve distress. Continued use of the addictive substance induces adaptive changes in the brain that lead to tolerance, physical dependence, uncontrollable craving and, all too often, relapse. Dependence is at such a point that stopping is very difficult and causes severe physical and mental reactions from withdrawal.

    Addiction is one of the most costly public health problems in the United States. It is a progressive syndrome, which means that it increases in severity over time unless it is treated. The term has been partially replaced by the word "dependence" for substance abuse.
    Addiction has been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviors or activities. Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions (for example, alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking); and process addictions (for example, gambling, spending, shopping, eating, and sexual activity).

    In addition to noting a preoccupation with using and acquiring the abused substance, the diagnosis of addiction focuses on five criteria:

    -loss of willpower
    -harmful consequences
    -unmanageable lifestyle
    -increased tolerance or escalation of use
    -withdrawal symptoms on quitting
  3. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    Addiction is defined by any compulsively , frequently repeated behavior (s). Whether drinking,using drugs,gambling,eating, purging,and certain sexual activities. The addiction causes a negative impact upon the individuals biological, psychologically, and loved ones. Any behavior which is compulsively repeated frequently in an inappropriate context and has adverse effects on the individuals physical, psychological, intellectual, social or spiritual health.
    The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something. The component of the addiction encourages all of the pleasure sensors in the brain (neurotransmitters) to fire at once or in concession releasing pleasure hormones and chemicals. (endorphins). Giving one an overwhelming sense of euphoria. First through behavior one develops a pattern of behavior which in turn becomes a habit. Along with psychological and sometimes physiological addition. Some addiction have a physical component such as alcohol and heroin. Your body will crave the drug. Others are simply psychological in nature.
  4. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Addiction is a kind of behavior in which one loses his or her ability to resist something. Addiction is a big idea. It is not necessarily about substance. It affects the body in many ways like losing control of your senses and alteration of brain processes.
  5. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, or health.
  6. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    In general, an addiction is an unresistible craving/desire for a substance. the neurochemistry behind addiction is complex, but it essentially changes the way in which neurotransmitters (particles in the brain responsible for much of what we do) "fire"
  7. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    For me you are into an Addiction if you are already being dependent to a certain thing or to a behavioral activity that you are not doing before. Like taking toxic substances like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs or behavioral activities like eating too much, spending and shopping too much, gambling etc. If you are using or doing this things frequently or you do not have the resistance in avoiding these things or activities that is already affecting your life then you are into addiction.
  8. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    For me addiction means needing something to function and without it you feel weak or useless. Being an addict also means you become dependent to this one thing so much it interferes with your life. You may lose your friends, family or career, any one of these.
  9. Anahap

    Anahap Member

    I think this is the best way to describe addiction. There are addictions that do not require the ingestion of substances, such as gambling, sex, video games, internet, that can cause harm to an individual. I've met people who were addicted to video games and couldn't hold a steady job, have a stable relationship because of it.
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Well, for me, an addiction is an obsession, which progressively becomes a priority. You ignore your responsibilities, your friends, your family, even your hygiene and your feelings, just to fulfill your addiction. It's an unhealthy disorder you develop at your own will. It's kind of horrific.
  11. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    An inability to control oneself. If you can't stop engaging in something when you consciously decide to try and can't. If you think what you are doing is ok and that there is nothing wrong with it. Other people keep telling you that this is a problem and you are in denial.
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    If it is something uncontrollable anymore and you already think that you cannot live or survive without that substance or things is already an addiction. It affects the mind and the body negatively like having a disease or not capable to think right anymore.
  13. shellybean808

    shellybean808 Member

    An addiction would be like picking something up and looking at your hand and not knowing how that thing got there. Having an addiction to me, would be losing your ability to say 'no' and mean it. knowing that the instance you said 'no' your mind was already made up to do the exact opposite. It's being at odds with yourself on a daily basis. Knowing as soon as you wake up that you've already lost the battle unless you've coaxed yourself into believing it's your choice to do this thing that causes you detriment. I don't know who is better off: the person that tries to fight the addiction everyday or the person who believes all is well and things are as they should be.
  14. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    To me an addiction is something that's bad for you, that you won't quit. Being addicted is not being able to stop feeding a problem that's sucking the life out of you. When your addicted to something it controls you, you don't control it. Addiction is like a disease. I call it a disease because it's unhealthy and needs a cure.
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I prefer to define addiction in a mire layman way. It is basically an extreme obsession or inclination to do or be exposed to a particular undertaking to the point of self-destruction (or as near to that as possible). Your normal human functions, perceptions and relationships may be disrupted in the process.