What Is Addiction?

Welcome to the What is Addiction? topic center

 This topic center will provide information on:

  1. Definitions and Classification of Addiction.
  2. Addiction Statistics.

You may be asking the questions, “What is addiction?” “How do I know if I have an addiction?” It is our hope that these pages will provide insight into these questions. For now, here are a couple quick reference points:

In the first article, Horvath, Misra, Epner, & Cooper define addiction as:

“the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.”

Another definition of addiction by Horvath (2004) uses three simple concepts:

  • Anything.
  • Excessive.
  • Craving.

“repeated involvement with anything, despite excessive costs, because of craving.”

-Horvath, A. T. (2004). Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions. Impact Publishers, Atascadero, CA.

Use the side bar to navigate through articles.

Always remember that it is a good idea to consult a medical professional for proper evaluation and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

What Is Addiction?

History and Context of Substance Abuse

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction can be defined as a chronic, relapsing illness in which an individual develops a severe physical and pscyhological dependence on drugs, such that the compulsion to use drugs is overpowering, despite the knowledge of detrimental conseqences.
What is Drug Addiction?


A History of Substance Use

Since the beginning of human history, people have sought ways to alter levels of consciousness as well as the perceptions of our sensate bodies by taking substances such as herbs, alcohol, and other drugs. Many impressive, important contributions to science and culture have resulted from these practices—from the development of
modern medicine and the advent of skilled medical practitioners to the cultivation of grapes and other agricultural mainstays used in the crafting of fine wines and liquors. As a spiritual tool, some religions have historically found uses for mind-altering substances as a way to aid communion with a divine principle.