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Understanding Addiction

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Addiction goes far beyond drugs and alcohol. People can develop addictions to substances, behaviors or activities.


Addiction affects the brain. Drugs work the brain the most because they have a similar size and shape as natural neurotransmitters. In the brain in the right amount or dose, these drugs lock into receptors and start an unnatural chain reaction of electrical charges, causing neurons to release large amounts of their own neurotransmitter.

Addiction consists of these symptoms; Obsession, compulsion, loss of control, and continued use in the face of negative consequences. These behaviors or activities may be normal, everyday occurrences such as eating or even internet surfing.

A major study, the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study, shows that the lifetime chance of an American developing an abuse or dependence disorder is 15 percent for alcohol and 6 percent for other drugs. These are the most prevalent disorders among men of all age groups and the most prevalent among women 18 to 24. The cost of alcohol and drug problems is greater than that of all other mental illnesses combined—144 billion versus $129 billion in a year.

Written by Daniel

February 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

One Response

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  1. Understanding addiction is key if you want to get sober.


    February 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm

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