What is addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disease or dysfunction of the brain systems that control reward, memory, and motivation. This dysfunction affects how someone reacts to stimuli and causes the addict to crave it obsessively and the pleasure response it creates. Addiction is also characterised by the continuance to abuse a substance despite the negative consequences of doing so.
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What are the effects of addiction?
More often than not, addictions can lead to serious problems in health and day-to-day life. Those who are addicted are also likely to relapse when attempting to stop. This can mean addiction can cycle between mild and severe rapidly, though most will worsen significantly over prolonged exposure to the addictive substance or behaviour.
Addiction can fundamentally change a person, impacting how they feel, act, and think. Those who do not get help for their addictions can end up isolating themselves from their loved ones.
Most of us will face the temptation to abuse substances or try risky behaviours at some point in our lives. While it may seem harmless, addictive tendencies can progress quickly, especially with substance abuse like drugs and alcohol.