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Key elements of addiction 

Key elements of addiction
Key elements of addiction

Professor David J. Nutt

and Dr Liam J. Nestor

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date: 06 March 2021

Addictive substances are highly reinforcing

They are reinforcing because they induce pleasure

Pleasure leads to “liking” the effects of addictive substances

“Liking” a substance can become conditioned to substance-related cues

“Wanting” a substance can occur at the expense of “liking” the substance

Excessive “wanting” can lead to a loss of control of substance use

Substance use habits are unconsciousness - they are automatic

Withdrawal from substances of abuse leads to repeated use

Craving for substances may occur following prolonged abstinence

Craving may trigger substance relapse

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