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
6/26/2017
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

6/19/2017
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

6/16/2017
Addicts Try to Avoid Deadly Fentanyl, But Many Tragically Fail

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

6/15/2017
Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

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

6/14/2017
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

6/12/2017
Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

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

6/9/2017
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

6/9/2017
Opioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies

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

6/8/2017
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

6/6/2017
1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years Later

Though procedure relieves obesity-related pain, it doesn't erase the need for painkillers, researchers report

6/1/2017
Elite High Schools Breed Higher Risk of Addiction: Study

Rates are two to three times higher than national norms

5/31/2017
Did a 1980 Letter Help Spark the U.S. Opioid Crisis?

Doctors may have been misled by report calling painkiller addiction 'rare'

5/23/2017
New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

On the agenda: better-tailored painkiller doses, doctor training and more

5/22/2017
1 in 4 Americans Knows Someone Hooked on Opioids: Poll

Three-quarters believe that people can beat the addiction

5/12/2017
Study Sees Link Between Porn and Sexual Dysfunction

It could be creating unrealistic expectations for young, inexperienced men, researcher says

5/3/2017
Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

They're more likely to have disabilities and developmental delays, researchers say

4/27/2017
Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Researchers conclude that use of the painkillers is 'an American problem,' not a VA problem

4/25/2017
Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Death certificates from drug-linked infections may not label painkillers as possible cause

4/21/2017
Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care

As treatment shifts to primary care doctors and hospitals, new strategies may be needed, researchers say

4/12/2017
Many Opioid Addictions Surface After Surgery, Study Finds

Some patients face much higher risk of becoming dependent on powerful painkillers

4/7/2017
Rehab Services Lacking in States Hit Hard by Opioids

More addiction recovery programs needed in the Southeast, researchers say

4/6/2017
Family History May Magnify Your Hangover

People whose relatives have drinking problem recall day-after symptoms more clearly, study finds

3/31/2017
Tanning's Allure Tied to Other Addictions

Some people with need for bronzed skin likely to drink too much alcohol or have depression, study finds

3/29/2017
Heroin Epidemic Expands Its Grip on America

Use of the narcotic grew 5-fold in a decade, helped by scourge of prescription painkiller abuse

3/27/2017
Smoking Slows Recovery From Drug Abuse

People who smoke cigarettes more likely to relapse after battling drug addiction

3/20/2017
Fewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on Opioids

But suicides involving these drugs are up more than 50 percent, study finds

3/16/2017
Opioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few Days

Prescribing narcotic painkillers for 3 days or less may lower chances of addiction, study finds

3/5/2017
Longer Addiction Treatment Is Better, Study Confirms

Success rate goes up significantly when programs last more than 30 days, psychiatrist says

2/17/2017
Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Giving drugs to reduce cravings appears to be effective option, study finds

2/15/2017
Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Patients are 30 percent more likely to get hooked on painkillers if their ER physician prescribes them frequently

12/19/2016
Nicotine in E-Cigs Can Trigger Lifelong Addiction in Kids: Docs

American Academy of Pediatricians' report says the earlier kids 'vape,' the more likely they're hooked

11/17/2016
U.S. Surgeon General Declares War on Addiction

Report calls for proven medical treatments and compassion to combat the national crisis

10/27/2016
More American Adults Think E-Cigs as Harmful as Cigarettes: Survey

But researchers note they can help smokers quit even if they're not risk-free

10/24/2016
Many Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey

Patients worried about the potentially addictive painkillers; say they only provide limited relief

10/4/2016
Risk of Opioid Addiction Up 37 Percent Among Young U.S. Adults

Study also finds painkiller abuse often precedes heroin use

10/4/2016
FDA Sued Over Delay on Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels

Lawsuit says agency's decision is more than 4 years overdue

9/21/2016
Alcoholics May Lack Key Enzyme

Rat study suggests PRDM2 helps the brain control impulses to drink

9/19/2016
Internet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: Study

Over-reliance on the Web might be linked to depression, anxiety and impulsivity, researchers report

9/15/2016
Do States With Medical Marijuana Have Less Opioid Abuse?

Study of fatal car crashes finds fewer linked to opioids where medical pot is legal, but some experts are critical of the research

9/13/2016
Smoking Thickens Heart Wall, Leading to Heart Failure: Study

The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the greater the risk of damage

9/13/2016
Smokers' Perceptions May Play Role in Addiction

They were more affected by nicotine when they thought it was present in a cigarette, study showed

8/30/2016
Non-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Trials

But human studies have yet to be done

8/26/2016
Doctors Divided on Safety, Use of Electronic Cigarettes

When patients ask about safety and using e-cigarettes to stop smoking, doctors' advice differs

8/25/2016
Many Teens 'Vaping' for Flavor, Not Nicotine

Study found that only about a fifth of 12th graders who used an e-cigarette used a nicotine substance

8/25/2016
Synthetic Fentanyl Fueling Surge in Overdose Deaths: CDC

U.S. Surgeon General urges doctors to join the fight against opioid addiction epidemic

8/23/2016
Veterans' Painkiller Abuse Can Raise Odds for Heroin Use

3 of 4 who tried the illicit drug had misused prescription painkillers first: study

8/16/2016
Quitting Smoking May Gain You Friends

Most people who give up cigarettes make at least two new pals, research finds

8/16/2016
U.S. College Kids Drink More, Smoke Less Than Others Their Age

Full-time students aged 18 to 22 also have higher rates of binge-drinking, survey finds

8/11/2016
Steep Rise in U.S. Babies Born to Opioid-Addicted Mothers

Cases of 'neonatal abstinence syndrome' quadrupled between 1999 and 2013, CDC says

8/10/2016
Addiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: Study

Vast majority of patients used the meds short-term to ease their pain