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What is addiction?

Addiction could also be called “reward deficit syndrome” because addiction disrupts the balance in the brain's reward system, i.e. the experience of pleasure is altered. It lulls and numbs the reward mechanism - work, family and friends lose their value, because they are no longer able to provide the former pleasure, but the use of intoxicating substances becomes more and more pronounced and comes to the fore until the moment when the substances themselves also lose their ability to provide a reward. However, a person with the disease of addiction is unable to give up substance use because the memories of the pleasure of using the substance have become stronger than the substance itself.

It is precisely the lack of reward that makes a person with an addiction disease literally chase after the pleasure that the use of this substance (alcohol, nicotine, drugs, etc.) or procedural addiction (gambling, eating, sex, etc.) gives him. The use of substances or processes becomes a kind of self-medication for a person with an addiction disease, which allows him to escape for a short time from the discomfort he feels.

In this material, the concept of addiction is defined as a primary (addiction is not a side effect of another existing disease), chronic (permanent and long-lasting), progressive disease, which is characterized by changes in an individual's behavior, thoughts, emotions and physical health, which, in turn, have arisen after repeated use of substances or processes. Addiction is treatable, but not completely cured.

Pay attention to :

Drug addiction

- loss of energy or motivation

- neglecting your appearance

- spending too much money on substances

- obsessing about the next dose, ensuring a steady supply of the substance and worrying about the next source of the substance

- feeling withdrawal symptoms when unable to use the drug

- tolerance building phase, so it is unacceptable to use more in order to feel the initial euphoria.

- lying about use patterns or becoming defensive or aggressive when asked about use.

- compulsive drug use or inability to stop

Alcohol addiction

- feeling unwell after drinking and using alcohol to relieve symptoms.

- Drinking alone, in the mornings, or giving up other activities to drink.

- taking risks or engaging in risky behavior such as drunk driving.

- drinking in secret

- changes in appearance as health deteriorates

- choosing to drink rather than eat

- long-term health problems including memory problems, stomach upset, heart and blood pressure problems, and liver and kidney damage.

- Mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, or insomnia, dependence on the amount of alcohol drunk.

- inability to stop drinking

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