Addiction and addictive disorders
Kreek, Mary Jeanne Rockefeller University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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Habituation to a specific practice, such as drinking alcoholic beverages or using drugs (for example, heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines), and disorders characterized by the chronic use of a drug, alcohol, or similar substance. Addiction and addictive disorders usually result in (1) the development of tolerance for the substance, with the need for increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect; (2) physical dependence, characterized by a sequence of well-defined signs and physiological symptoms, including the withdrawal or abstinence syndrome on cessation of use of the substance; and (3) compulsive drug-seeking behavior, with chronic, regular, or intermittent use, despite possible harm to self or others (Fig. 1). Since the early 1960s, research has been increasing in the biology of addictive diseases, and emphasis has shifted from psychological, sociological, and epidemiological studies to investigations of the metabolic, neurobiological, and molecular bases of addiction. See also: Incentive-sensitization disease model of addiction; Neurobiology; Pharmacology; Psychology; Psychopharmacology; Public health
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