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Symptoms and Signs of Addiction

Doctor's Notes on Addiction

Addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (or behavior activity), despite adverse consequences. Signs and symptoms of addiction are listed as having three or more of the following: a need for increased amounts because of tolerance, withdrawal is evident when uncomfortable symptoms occur with absence of the substance. Substance use is used in greater quantities or for longer times, person’s efforts to cut down on use has failed, considerable time and effort is used in attaining the substance or recovering from its effects, important social, recreational and employment activities are reduced or given up and if the substance use is continued, even if other problems are made worse (for example, stomach ulcer and alcohol consumption).

Researchers suggest that genetic susceptibilities and biological traits play a role in addiction cause. Also, environment is also suggested to play a role. In addition, the substances and behaviors themselves may increase or change the reward circuits in the brain and augment addiction.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.