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Addiction results when a person ingests a
substance (alcohol, cocaine, or nicotine, for example) or repeatedly takes part
in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable, but the continued use of
which becomes compulsive and interferes with everyday life.
Common addictions include:
-- Alcohol abuse
-- Drug abuse
-- Exercise abuse
Classic symptoms of addiction include
impaired control over substances/behavior, preoccupation with
substance/behavior, continued use despite consequences, and denial. Behavior
patterns and habits associated with addiction are commonly characterized by the
pursuit of immediate gratification, coupled with negative long-term effects.
Physiological dependence results when the
body is unable to function normally in the absence of the substance or
behavior. This state produces the conditions of tolerance and withdrawl.
Tolerance is the result of the body
requiring larger volumes of the substance or stimulus in order to achieve the
Withdrawal is the physical and
psychological symptoms experienced when the body no longer receives the
substance in the same quantities it has become reliant upon.