ADDICTION is a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior or activity, accompanied by impaired control over the need despite harm or cravings.
An individual with an addiction will seek out that substance, behavior or activity in a persistent and uncontrolled manner despite whether it is maladaptive or counterproductive to the individual. The individual finds it pleasurable in certain ways and the goal is to relieve or minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Habit-forming substances that can be addictive include stimulants (e.g., Amphetamines), Anxiolytics (e.g., Benzodiazepines), Opioids (e.g., Hydrocodone), Cannabinoids (e.g., Prescription THC), and other drugs (ketamine); whereas behaviors that can lead to addiction include gambling, drinking alcohol, excessive eating, and sex.
Due to facing stress daily in our lives, every one of us at any point in time has used one of these substances to relieve stress, such as an anxiolytic or participated in one of these behaviors such as gambling or drinking. But many of us are able to control our use or behavior in a manner that does not deviate from medical, legal and social standards. On the other hand, an addict loses control of his use of an addictive substance or his behavior gets out of control, and thus he gets in trouble with the law or compromises his health condition. If you feel your use of a substance or your behavior is uncontrollable, please contact an appropriate provider for help before it is too late.