What defines addiction?

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

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    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

    ADDICTION IS TERMINAL - Addiction ultimately ends in recovery or death.

    Check out this article:

    "What is Addiction?":


  • 1 decade ago

    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.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    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.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    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.

    - See more at: http://topaddictionnetworks.com/what-is-addiction/

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • jdphd
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    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"

    Source(s): i have a degree in psychology
  • 1 decade ago

    yes, it does. when you are addicted to something, you not only crave it mentally and can't imagine what you would do without it, but you experience physical symptoms when you cannot fullfill your desire for it. Do not think that if you meet these guidelines then you are an addict but they are certainly traits

  • 1 decade ago

    like you just need to do it. you cant get by the day without doing/having whatever you're addicted to.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    i could outline habit as having some thing on your existence that reasons u to crave that merchandise. it might desire to be anyting drugs alcohol intercourse interest what ever reasons u to masks your issues or to furnish u a momentary extreme that is purely used to make u overlook bout your issues for a speedy even as

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.