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Addiction is a state of physiological and psychological dependence on a particular thing or substance. It is a disease that affects directly the interpersonal relationships of a person. Addiction affects each and every aspect of the afflicted person’s life; at physical, mental or psychological, and even at the spiritual-moral life of the person. The term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user themselves to their individual health, mental state, or social life.

Addiction is the developmental disease and it starts in childhood or adolescence. The disease addiction has a way of recurring and only the change in attitude and also in person’s belief system will give the meaningful recovery.

Addiction is defined as the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse consequences. It can also be defined as physical and psychological dependence on psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco, heroin, caffeine and other drugs) which cross the blood brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.

Some defining characteristics of addiction include-

  • Over-generalized & illogical thinking pattern.
  • Pessimistic approach towards life.
  • Self – criticism & self-blame.
  • Negative attitude about situations faced in life.

Causative factors in Addiction:

  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Biological traits- There are few personality theories postulated to show the relationship of genetic factors with addiction


  • Health - addiction to a substance usually has health consequences.
  • Coma, unconsciousness or death
  • Some diseases - people who inject drugs have a risk of developing HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Some substances can lead towards more risky sexual behavior (unprotected sex), increasing the probability of developing sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Accidental injuries/death.
  • Suicide
  • Relationship problems
  • Child neglect/abuse
  • Unemployment, poverty and homelessness
  • Problems with the law

Relapse is now seen as the rule rather than the exception in addiction recovery. And it is no longer viewed as a catastrophe but as an opportunity for learning more and better strategies for overcoming urges and for identifying the moods and situations that are likely to be difficult.

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