A Quick Overview of Addiction

Everyone has heard the word and chances are most people know what to look for when they hear addiction being brought up in conversation. Quite a few of you might have friends, neighbours and coworkers who have battled substance abuse themselves and therefore know the signs to look for and, more than likely, even where to get the right kind of treatment.

Here’s a few additional pieces of information that will help to provide you with a well-rounded understanding about addiction.

Addiction has a scientific explanation defined as a relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive use and abuse of a certain drug. The combined criminal, social, medical and economic impact of drug and alcohol abuse costs North Americans half a trillion dollars each and every year according to one study.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used by the American Psychiatric Association and classifies drug abuse symptoms as characterized by some of the following traits:

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts than first intended
  • Inability to cut down or stop dosage
  • Continuing use despite looming health or social problems

Most of the drugs that cause addiction target the brain’s pleasure centers.

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