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What is addiction? 

What is addiction?
Chapter:
What is addiction?
Author(s):

Professor David J. Nutt

and Dr Liam J. Nestor

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199685707.003.0001
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date: 23 February 2020

Addiction is a brain disease

Addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder

Addiction involves the chronic pharmacological actions of substances in the brain

There are different types of addiction (e.g., alcohol, cocaine)

Individuals may be more vulnerable to addiction than others

Endophenotypes of addiction may facilitate diagnosis and treatment

Addiction may involve numerous factors (e.g., social, biological)

Addiction does not happen immediately

There are stages of addiction (e.g., preoccupation, loss of control)

There are also “non-substance” behavioural addictions (e.g., gambling)

Limited use of addictive drugs is clinically distinct from addiction

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