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Understanding the Medical Definition of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that leads to numerous physical, mental, behavioral, societal, and familial consequences. There is a fine line between drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. Often, addicts and family members have difficulty distinguishing these two problems. Regardless of whether an individual has a problem with substance abuse or addiction, he or she will need the full support of a residential treatment facility near Pennsylvania. At an inpatient drug rehab, patients can safely go through drug detox and drug (REMOVE) rehabilitation, and begin working on addiction recovery.

drug addiction in pennsylvania

Physical Tolerance
To be diagnosed with drug addiction, at least three diagnostic criteria must apply to an individual. Often, this includes physical tolerance. Individuals who engage in substance abuse typically find that they must use increasing amounts of the drug over time to feel the same effects. This is because the body can gradually build up physical tolerance to the substance.

Withdrawal
Another classic sign of drug addiction is withdrawal effects. Individuals who are addicted to a substance find that they experience emotional and physical side effects when the drug is no longer in their bodies. For example, a person who is addicted to alcohol may wake up with nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and a rapid heart rate. Other side effects of withdrawal from an addictive substance can include anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and cloudy thinking.

Consequences
The diagnostic criteria for addiction includes the continued abuse of the substance despite negative consequences. Individuals who are addicted may continue to drink or use drugs despite job loss, relationship deterioration, financial problems, legal trouble, and other problems.

Control
Some addicts struggle to control their addiction in that they may want to cut down or stop using, but they cannot do so on their own. Some individuals may make multiple, unsuccessful attempts to quit drinking or abusing drugs. It’s extremely challenging to overcome addiction on one’s own. The resources available at a drug treatment center are crucial for addiction recovery.

Preoccupation
Another characteristic of addiction is having a preoccupation with drinking or using drugs. A person may spend an excessive amount of time thinking about the substance, planning how to obtain it, using it, concealing his or her use, and recovering from his or her use. In part because of the importance that the drug has in an individual’s life, that person begins to withdraw from friends and family.

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