Addiction is a behavioral disorder marked by a physical or psychological dependency that results in significant negative disruptions in an individual’s quality of life. Formally, addictions relate to drug (including alcohol) use, although the term often is used colloquially to include apparent compulsive behavior and dedication to activities. The important sign of addiction is the continued engagement in self-destructive behavior despite negative consequences. Addiction’s self-destructive behaviors involve a loss of control, compulsive seeking, and vulnerability to relapse. Importantly, dependency and addiction are often used interchangeably, but dependency actually relates to physiological effects while addiction relates to behaviors; and both often coexist although they need not do so. Ceasing to use depended on drugs typically (but not always) leads to withdrawal and produces an abstinence syndrome.
Although traditionally limited to drug use, the term has been the subject of...
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