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is a medical condition that is characterized by...

Addiction is a medical condition that is characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. It can be thought of as a disease or biological process leading to such behaviors. The two properties that characterize all addictive stimuli are that they are reinforcing (i.e., they increase the likelihood that a person will seek repeated exposure to them) and intrinsically rewarding (i.e., perceived as being positive or desirable).


List of Addictions to Substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids (like heroin)
  • Prescription drugs (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics like sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (like methamphetamine, known as meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)
  • Other unspecified substances

Alcohol Addiction :

Many people ask, "what is alcoholism?" Alcoholism is a disease characterized by the habitual intake of alcohol. The definition of alcoholism is chronic alcohol use to the degree that it interferes with physical or mental health, or with normal social or work behavior. Alcoholism is a disease that produces both physical and psychological addiction. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that reduces anxiety, inhibition, and feelings of guilt. It lowers alertness and impairs perception, judgment, and motor coordination. In high doses, it can cause loss of consciousness and even death. Alcoholism is a disease that damages the brain, liver, heart, and other organs (short-term, long-term effects of alcohol). Spotting the signs and symptoms of alcoholism is not always easy. Alcoholism is a disease that can be seen through drinking-related arrests or job loss, but they tend to happen late in the disease. Many signs occur earlier, yet are harder to detect. These signs include:

  • An increasing tolerance to the effects of alcohol. You may have heard the expression that someone can "hold their liquor." This is not a sign that this person will not have problems with alcohol; in fact, this may be an early sign of alcoholism as a disease.
  • A growing preoccupation with or interest in drinking. Also drinking alone or drinking before an activity where there will be drinking. It may seem as though one simply enjoys drinking. We now know that these can be part of the definition of alcoholism.
  • A person will dispute their drinking is a problem. This symptom, called denial, is almost always present in the disease of alcoholism. Later, difficulties in relationships, on the job, or with the law often occur.

Other signs and symptoms closely matching the definition of alcoholism are:

  • Hiding alcohol or sneaking drinks
  • Gulping the first few drinks
  • Wanting to drink more, or longer, than the rest of the crowd
  • Losing control of drinking, leading to attempts to control it ("going on the wagon")

Drug Addiction :

Drug addiction is not a character flaw or a lack of willpower but is actually a mental illness and should be treated as a medical issue, just as any other illness.Drug addiction has a number of different definitions, varying by medical body. The commonality among drug addiction definitions, however, is the inability to stop using the drug in spite of numerous attempts. The symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • The drug user has developed a drug tolerance, needing to consume increasingly greater quantities to experience the desired effect.
  • The drug user experiences withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.
  • Drug use is continued in spite of harm caused to the drug user, the drug user's life and the lives of those around the user.

Drug addiction, as a term, is not defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Instead of drug addiction, the DSM uses the term "drug dependence" and also includes "drug abuse." Both of these are considered to be substance use disorders.