Addictive disorders, such as substance abuse and dependence, are common disorders that involve the overuse of alcohol or drugs. Addiction develops over time and is a chronic and relapsing illness. Addictive disorders are caused by multiple factors, including genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, social pressures, individual personality characteristics and psychiatric problems.
From a neurological standpoint, addictive disorders arise when a substance changes the way the user’s brain feels pleasure. Addictive substances alter the brain’s ability to send and receive chemicals called neurotransmitters, which cause pleasure. The addictive substances can prevent nerves in the brain called neurons from receiving these pleasure chemicals, meaning the drug user relies on the drug, rather than his or her natural brain chemicals, for feelings of pleasure.
Most of the knowledge available regarding substance use and abuse comes from studying adult populations. A lack of research studying young adult substance use and abuse leaves questions concerning how it differs from substance abuse in other age groups unanswered.
- Gambling Addiction
- Food Addiction
- Risky Behavior Addiction
- Shopping Addiction
- Sex & Porn Addiction
- Drug Addiction
- Alcohol Addiction
- Exercise Addiction
- Pain Addiction
- Video Game Addiction
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