What Causes Addiction?

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  • ​​​Addiction is a condition that develops when an individual engages in an activity which, initially and in moderation, may be pleasurable however has escalated to a point where continued engagement becomes compulsive and interferes with their life, work responsibilities, personal relationships, and health


  • Addiction can develop towards the ingestion of a substance, such as opiates, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine. Or in the engagement of an activity, such as gambling, exercise, shopping, sex


  • Physical addiction occurs when the body adapts to the presence of a drug/substance such that it no longer has the same effect, requiring the person to take ever increasing amounts of the drug/substance. This is referred to as tolerance. Another indication of physical addiction is when a person stops consuming the drug/substance and suffers physical symptoms of withdrawal


  • Psychological addiction (“mental addiction”) is a more complicated process. It describes the situation where an addicted individual reacts to thoughts or stimuli in the environment which prompts them to pursue the activity or use the drug/substance