What is addiction?
A couple of different definitions;
“the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to somethingthat is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics,to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma” (Dictionary.com)
“Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure, enjoyment or relief from actual or perceived ailments would have originally been sought; however, over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal. Some psychology professionals and many laypeople now mean ‘addiction’ to include abnormal psychological dependency on such things as gambling, video games, food, sex, pornography, computers, internet, work, exercise, adrenaline, idolizing, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, self-injury and shopping.” (Wikipedia.com)
And finally, from the American Society of Addiction Medicine;
“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”