Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.
According to many addiction specialists, potential addictions can include, but are not limited to, drug abuse, exercise addiction, food addiction, computer addiction and gambling. Currently, however, only substance addictions and gambling addiction are recognized by the DSM-5. Classic hallmarks of addiction include impaired control over substances or behavior, preoccupation with substance or behavior, continued use despite consequences, and denial.Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed deleterious effects (long-term costs).
Physiological dependence occurs when the body has to adjust to the substance by incorporating the substance into its "normal" functioning. This state creates the conditions of tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is the process by which the body continually adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects. Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms experienced when reducing or discontinuing a substance that the body has become dependent on. Symptoms of withdrawal generally include but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, intense cravings for the substance, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats, and tremors.