Addiction News

Addiction is a condition that results from becoming dependent on a particular chemical or activity. There are many different types of addictions, ranging from chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol to addictions to activities like sex or gambling.

When people become addicted to a chemical or activity, they reach a stage where they believe they cannot do without it. Therefore, they feel a strong compulsion to use it or do it, even if they know that it’s not in their best interest. Generally, this situation results from the chemical or activity creating a pleasurable sensation that the body or brain desires again. As an addiction progresses, the link to the chemical or activity becomes so strong that people will forsake their overall health and well-being to continue their addiction.

Causes of Addiction

Addictions are complicated, and there are a lot of factors that can lead to someone becoming an addict. The cause of the addiction will vary quite a bit, depending on what the addiction is as well as the person’s individual situation.

However, there does seem to be a strong genetic component to addictions: It’s true that some people just seem to have an addictive personality. Beyond genetic factors, though, your environment plays a major role in your chances of becoming an addict. If you’re surrounded by other addicts, then there’s a good chance that you might become one.

Addiction Characteristics and Treatment

The main things that distinguish an addiction from a pleasurable activity are the inability to stop the activity, even after many attempts. You'll feel a strong physical and mental craving for it, and your behavior will change when you need it.

The treatment for an addiction will vary depending on its type and the severity of the addiction, but many need therapy or other outside help to end the addiction. Both group and one-on-one therapy are often needed for the addict. In addition, it’s also very important that the individual take a role in self-management, with outside support, to get a handle on their addiction. It’s not easy, and relapse is common, but many addicts can overcome their illness and go on to lead fulfilling lives.

SOURCES: American Society of Addiction Medicine; U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy

Date Posted
Article Title
U.S. Opioid Painkiller Abuse May Be Leveling Off

Rate plateaus as doctors are urged to recommend nondrug pain treatments

Hepatitis C Screening May Boost Opioid Treatment Success

When people find out they have the infection, they're more likely to stay off drugs

1 in 5 Young Women Who Tan Indoors Get Addicted

Depression and worries about appearance common in those who can't skip the tanning bed, study finds

Americans More Open About Mental Health Issues, But Stigma Lingers

Poll found many thought 'personal failings' were part of the cause of some conditions

Heroin Taking Bigger Share of U.S. Opioid ODs

Hospital discharges tied to the illicit drug are rising as those from prescription painkillers fall

CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States

'It only takes a little to lose a lot' is slogan for the multi-pronged media effort

Surgery Can Be Trigger for Teen Opioid Abuse

Certain operations pose a greater risk of painkiller dependence, study finds

More U.S. Kids Landing in ER With Opioid Addiction

Researcher calls findings an emerging public health issue

What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

A surgeon's group offers a blueprint for safer pain management

Many Prescribed Opioids Even After Overdose

Few receive anti-addiction medications after hospital discharge, researchers find

Hernia Patients May Need Fewer Opioids After Surgery, Study Finds

After repair, smaller prescriptions led to fewer pills that could be diverted or abused

Voters in Counties With Worse Life Expectancy Turned to Trump in Election

Study found link between two; researchers point to poverty, lack of health insurance, unhealthy lifestyles

Fatal Opioid ODs on the Rise Among U.S. Teens

And heroin led to the most deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds, CDC says

Opioid Overdoses and Deaths Flooding U.S. Hospitals

Medical costs jumped more than $30,000 per patient in less than 10 years, study finds

Trump to Declare Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

The majority of overdose deaths are attributed to prescription painkillers, report says

U.S. Opioid Crisis Continues to Worsen

Lion's share of deaths attributed to prescription painkillers

'12-Step' Strategy Boosts Success of Teen Drug Abuse Program

Messages from recovering peers made an impact, study finds

Addiction Drug Underused by Primary Care Docs in U.S.

Buprenorphine is prescribed to get patients off opioids in the privacy of a physician's office

Doctors Still Overprescribing Opioids in U.S.

Nearly 92 million Americans used a powerful prescription painkiller in 2015, survey shows

FDA Looks to Reduce Nicotine in Cigarettes

Goal is to combat smoking by making it less addictive

Easing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of Life

Slowly lowering the drug amount also helps people get off the medications, study author says

Ending U.S. Opioid Abuse Epidemic Will Take Years: Report

Expert panel calls for tighter painkiller prescribing practices without denying patients in need

U.S. Opioid Prescriptions Fall, But Numbers Still High: CDC

And length of prescriptions went up, raising risk of addiction among patients

Reaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat Pain

Tools from clinical psychology help reduce chronic opioid use after surgery: study

More Research Shows Big Surge in U.S. Opioid Use, Addictions

Report from major insurer shows more than 20 percent received a painkiller prescription in 2015

3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD Deaths

First step: Don't give addicts a prescription for opioids or anti-anxiety medications, review recommends

When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Doctors say it can treat intense pain, but patients should stay on the drug for shortest time possible

Opioid Abuse Jumps 6-Fold for U.S. Youth, Too Few Get Treated: Study

Many don't receive medications recommended to beat these dependencies, researchers say

Addicts Try to Avoid Deadly Fentanyl, But Many Tragically Fail

Potent synthetic opioid now responsible for more than half of overdose deaths, study suggests

Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

Yearly price tag for their care now tops $300 million, researchers report

As U.S. Heroin Use Reaches 20-Year High, Cost to Society Soars

Tab is nearly $51,000 for each heroin user, far more than many chronic illnesses

Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

More than a third aren't getting help, federal study says

FDA Asks Maker of Opioid Painkiller Opana ER to Pull Drug From Market

Agency says the powerful medication's risk for abuse now outweighs any benefit

Opioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies

Pills women don't use may end up in the wrong hands, researchers suggest

Heroin Vaccine Blocks Drug High in Tests on Monkeys

Researchers hope it will prove as effective in human tests and become an aid for recovering addicts