Addiction is the term used to describe a habit (i.e. substance use and/or activity) that is extremely hard to stop and that increasingly interferes with a person’s life.
An addiction is often characterized by the presence of the following:
Cravings for a substance and/or activity
Loss of control (i.e. amount consumed, frequency, etc.)
Compulsion to use the substance or do the activity
Use of substance or continuation of the activity despite knowing the potential consequences
Addictions are behaviours that are often very hard to change because the immediate effects of substance use or activity, although brief, tend to be positive and/or gratifying. As a result, the behaviour is more likely to be repeated with the hope of re-experiencing the initial effect(s).
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please seek help. There are a number of options available to help people overcome their addiction.