News tagged with addiction

Related topics: brain · alcohol · nicotine

Neuron responsible for alcoholism found

Scientists have pinpointed a population of neurons in the brain that influences whether one drink leads to two, which could ultimately lead to a cure for alcoholism and other addictions.

Sep 02, 2015
popularity3068 comments 2

Study: Marijuana top illegal drug used worldwide

Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug used worldwide, but addictions to popular painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin and codeine kill the most people, according to the first-ever global survey of illicit drug abuse.

Aug 28, 2013
popularity0 comments 0

Diabetes medication can reduce food intake

Many studies have focused on how much we eat when we are hungry, but sometimes we eat just to feel better. A new dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy shows that medication used for type-2 diabetes wich mimics the gut-brain ...

Sep 29, 2015
popularity10 comments 1

Drug could stop marijuana cravings

(Medical Xpress)—In the US, more people seek treatment for marijuana abuse than for abuse of cocaine or heroin. However, there are no approved treatments for marijuana addiction. Robert Schwarcz of the University of Maryland ...

Oct 14, 2013
popularity0 comments 20 report


The term "addiction" is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction (e.g. alcoholism), video game addiction, crime, money, work addiction, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, nicotine addiction, pornography addiction, etc.

In medical terminology, an addiction is a chronic neurobiologic disorder that has genetic, psychosocial, and environmental dimensions and is characterized by one of the following: the continued use of a substance despite its detrimental effects, impaired control over the use of a drug (compulsive behavior), and preocupation with a drug's use for non-therapeutic purposes (i.e. craving the drug). Addiction is often accompanied the presence of deviant behaviors (for instance stealing money and forging prescriptions) that are used to obtain a drug.

Tolerance to a drug and physical dependence are not defining characteristics of addiction, although they typically accompany addiction to certain drugs. Tolerance is a pharmacologic phenomenon where the dose of a medication needs to be continually increase in order to maintain its desired effects. For instance, individuals with severe chronic pain taking opiate medications (like morphine) will need to continually increase the dose in order to maintain the drug's analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Physical dependence is also a pharmacologic property and means that if a certain drug is abruptly discontinued, an individual will experience certain characteristic withdrawal signs and symptoms. Many drugs used for therapeutic purposes produce withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopped, for instance oral steroids, certain antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opiates.

However, common usage of the term addiction has spread to include psychological dependence. In this context, the term is used in drug addiction and substance abuse problems, but also refers to behaviors that are not generally recognized by the medical community as problems of addiction, such as compulsive overeating.

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his or her individual health, mental state or social life.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

Subscribe to rss feed