Definitions and Types of Addiction

  • Addiction is a neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to use a drug or engage in a behavior that produces natural reward.
  • Addictive behavior refers to compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli.
  • Addictive disorders are mental disorders involving high intensities of addictions that induce functional disabilities.
  • Dependence is a polyseme denoting either neuropsychological symptoms or mental disorders.
  • Substance-use dependence is a synonym of substance-use addiction.
  • Examples of drug addictions include alcoholism, cannabis addiction, amphetamine addiction, cocaine addiction, nicotine addiction, and opioid addiction.
  • Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder that features drug seeking and drug abuse.
  • Drug addiction changes brain circuitry, compromising the brain's reward system and causing functional consequences for stress management and self-control.
  • Substances involved with drug addiction include alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, and high-fat and high-sugar foods.
  • Drug addiction can begin experimentally in social contexts and can arise from the use of prescribed medications or other measures.
  • Behavioral addictions include gambling addiction, shopping addiction, stalking, internet addiction, social media addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, video game addiction, and sexual addiction.
  • The DSM-5 and ICD-10 only recognize gambling addiction as a behavioral addiction, while the ICD-11 also recognizes gaming addiction.
  • Behavioral addiction refers to a compulsion to engage in a natural reward despite adverse consequences.
  • Preclinical evidence has shown that excessive exposure to a natural reward can induce changes in brain function.
  • Food addiction is not categorized or defined in references such as the DSM-5.
  • Long-term frequent and excessive consumption of foods high in fat, salt, or sugar can produce an addiction similar to drugs.
  • Highly palatable foods have the ability to counteract the body's signals for fullness, leading to persistent cravings.
  • Food addiction may lead to food tolerances, where individuals eat more despite the food becoming less satisfactory.

Assessment and Diagnosis

  • The Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) is the current standard measure for assessing signs and symptoms of food addiction.
  • The YFAS is based on the diagnostic criteria for substance-related and addictive disorders (SRADs) as per DSM-5.
  • A potential food addiction diagnosis is predicted by the presence of at least two out of 11 SRADs and a significant impairment to daily activities.
  • The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior subscales have been shown to have a relation to food addiction.
  • Assessment and diagnosis of addiction involve considering various risk factors and using standardized scales and questionnaires.
  • The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10) is a self-reporting tool for measuring problematic substance use.
  • The Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Test (ASSIST) is an interview-based questionnaire developed by the WHO to assess involvement with alcohol, smoking, and other substances.

Specific Behavioral Addictions

  • Sexual addiction involves engagement in excessive, compulsive, or problematic sexual behavior.
  • Gambling addiction provides a natural reward associated with compulsive behavior.
  • Internet addiction is characterized by psychological dependence on the internet regardless of activity.
  • Video game addiction involves excessive gaming behavior prioritized over other interests.
  • Shopping addiction refers to an excessive urge to shop or spend, leading to unwanted consequences.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Personality theories link personality traits and modes of thinking to addiction.
  • Neuropsychology explains the processes and mechanisms involved in addiction.
  • Genetic factors play a significant role in addiction vulnerability.
  • Environmental factors, such as experiences during lifetime, contribute to addiction vulnerability.
  • Adverse childhood events and maltreatment can lead to addiction as a coping mechanism.
  • Adolescence is a period of increased vulnerability for developing addiction.
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders increase the likelihood of developing substance use disorders.

Statistics and Additional Information

  • Roughly half of addiction risk is accounted for by genetic factors.
  • Over 90% of those with an addiction started using substances before the age of 18.
  • Comorbid mental health disorders are common among individuals with addiction.
  • The prevalence of shopping addiction in the United States is 5.8%.
  • The prevalence rates of internet addiction range from 1% to 19% in different studies.
  • The COVID-19 outbreak led to more people quitting smoking and reducing cigarette consumption.

Addiction Mentions

Addiction Data Sources

Reference URL
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