There are many different types of addiction, and there is an unfortunate stigma around this potentially fatal mental illness. From alcoholism, to drug addiction and addiction to a prescription medication, thousands of people are dying each year as a result. Most of the time, people don’t get the help that they need because they don’t know what the addiction definition actually is. Even people with a smoking addiction don’t realize how dependent they are to the substance. In order to get the help a person needs, they need to understand what an addiction is.


What is the Addiction Definition?

Those who suffer from an addiction to alcohol or drugs have developed a mental obsession and physical craving that’s more powerful than they know. Most of the world’s population can drink or use drugs recreationally, but they can logically know when the alcohol or drugs are causing an issue in their lives, and then they stop. People who are suffering from addiction have an abnormal reaction to substances because the pleasure system in their brain is running unregulated.

The brain is split up into two separate sections when it comes to addiction. The pleasure system is the part of the brain that’s responsible for a person’s survival. Humans need this part of the brain because it tells us when to eat, drink and reproduce. The frontal lobe of the brain is what controls our “fight or flight” response. When there’s a danger present, the frontal lobe allows us to know that they pleasure isn’t worth the risk. For an addict, the frontal lobe isn’t functioning properly, so the pleasure system tells the person to keep repeating the action.

The Progression of Addiction

There are different risk factors associated with addiction. Many people who become addicted were able to keep their drinking or drug use under control for a while, but then something changes. Those who become addicted are drinking or using drugs as a way to get a feeling, get rid of a feeling or escape. Eventually, the brain begins to make the connection that whenever a person is dealing with a situation that they’re not pleased with, their immediate response is to drink or use.

Medical professionals refer to this as self-medication. For example, some of the risk factors that can make a person become addicted include mental health issues and their environment. As time goes on, the body builds a tolerance as well as a dependency. The drugs or the alcohol aren’t having the same effect that they once were, so the person begins to drink or use more. In most cases, the person will seek out a new drug to get them the feeling they’re looking for. This is why many people progress from a prescription opiate addiction to heroin.

The good news is that there is hope for anyone who is struggling with an addiction. Medical science in the realm of addiction has come a long way, and there are treatment facilities to help people overcome any type of addiction they may have.