Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Its characteristics include: an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by any means; a tendency to increase the dose; a psychic (psychological) and generally a physical dependence on the effects of the drug; and detrimental effects on the individual and on society.
Drug habituation (habit) is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug. Its characteristics include a desire (but not a compulsion) to continue taking the drug for the sense of improved well-being which it engenders; little or no tendency to increase the dose; some degree of psychic dependence on the effect of the drug, but absence of physical dependence and hence of an abstinence syndrome [withdrawal], and detrimental effects, if any, primarily on the individual.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.
Drug addiction is characterized by strong, drug seeking behaviors in which the addict persistently craves and seeks out drugs, despite the knowledge of harmful consequences. Addictive drugs produce a reward, which is the euphoric feeling resulting from sustained DA concentrations in the synaptic cleft of neurons in the brain. Operant conditioning is exhibited in drug addicts as well as laboratory mice, rats, and primates; they are able to associate an action or behavior, in this case seeking out the drug, with a reward, which is the effect of the drug. Evidence shows that this behavior is most likely a result of the synaptic changes which have occurred due to repeated drug exposure. The drug seeking behavior is induced by glutamatergic projections from the prefrontal cortex to the NAc. This idea is supported with data from experiments showing the drug seeking behavior can be prevented following the inhibition of AMPA glutamate receptors and glutamate release in the NAc.
Pseudo addiction is a term which has been used to describe patient behaviors that may occur when pain is undertreated. Patients with unrelieved pain may become focused on obtaining medications, may “clock watch,” and may otherwise seem inappropriately “drug seeking.” Even such behaviors as illicit drug use and deception can occur in the patient's efforts to obtain relief. Pseudoaddiction can be distinguished from true addiction in that the behaviors resolve when pain is effectively treated.
Drug addiction is widely considered a pathological state. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and withdrawal / negative affect. These stages are characterized, respectively, everywhere by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance; using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects; and experiencing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and decreased motivation for normal life activities. By the American Society of Addiction Medicine definition, drug addiction differs from drug dependence and drug tolerance.
The addictive potency of drugs varies from substance to substance, and from individual to individual. Drugs such as codeine or alcohol, for instance, typically require many more exposures to addict their users than drugs such as heroin, lsd, marijuana or cocaine. Likewise, a person who is psychologically or genetically predisposed to addiction is much more likely to suffer from it.
If you are suffering from drug addiction then contact our rehab today for more information.
See more information on drug addiction treatment