Addiction is a strong desire to consume substances or engage in activities, which can lead to chronic brain malfunction and psychological dependence, which can have major consequences for one's life and those around them.
Addiction can involve a wide variety of substances and behaviours. The most serious dependencies are alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. The most common addictions include nicotine, caffeine, and gambling.
Addictions involve a lack of self-control and impaired ability, leading to individuals not stopping their behaviour even if they recognise it is causing problems.
- Being dismissive that their behaviour is causing problems at home or work
- Becoming secretive and withdrawn emotionally
- Seeking out situations where they can indulge in their compulsive behaviour
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit
- Health conditions, such as memory loss or insomnia
- Loss of control