Definition of an Addiction/Addiction Disorder
This definition is pulled directly from the book I am writing, “The Human Magnet Syndrome, the Allure of Dysfunctional Relationships.”
An Addictions Disorder is a catchall phrase for the persistent and compulsive dependence on a habit-forming substance or behavior. Addicts are obsessed and preoccupied with the continued use of their addictive substance/behavior. Despite negative consequences, they are compelled to continue the use of the mood altering substances or behaviors to which they are addicted. This is progressive disorder, or as Alcoholics Anonymous refers to it – a disease. Over time, addicts increased the frequency and the amount of the drug in order to achieve the “normal’ euphoric or “high” experience. With increased usage, tolerance for the drug is developed. Tolerance is the process by which the addicts require increasingly larger amounts of the addictive substance/behavior to achieve the original euphoric effects. Physiological or physical dependency eventually occurs as result of the escalation of use. As a result of the physical dependency on the drug/behavior, the addict will experience withdrawal symptoms if they significantly decrease or terminate their usage. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, and intense cravings for the substance, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats, and tremors. Even after the withdrawal symptoms subside, the addict often experiences irrational cravings to return to their destructive and often life threatening behavior. Therefore, an addiction is typically considered a disease or medical condition that is permanent.