Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (eg alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (eg gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities , such as work, relationships, or health.
Symptoms of Addiction
- The cardinal symptom of addiction is the inability to limit use of a substance or activity beyond need leading to clinically significant impairment.
- There is a craving or compulsion to use the substance or activity.
- Recurrent use of the drug or activity escalates to achieve the desired effect, indicating tolerance.
- Attempts to stop usage produce symptoms of withdrawal—irritability, anxiety, shakes, nausea.
Recurrent use of the substance or activity impairs work, social, and family responsibilities, creates psychological impairments and interpersonal problems, has negative effects on health, mood, self-respect, exacerbated by the effects of the specific substance itself.