Addiction can take many forms. The most common addictions in this country include alcohol, smoking, and drugs (including both legal and illegal substances). Activities such as gambling or using the Internet can also be addictive. Given the rates of obesity in the United States, even food can be an addictive substance.
Addiction is diagnosed when the following conditions are present dependency, tolerance and withdrawal.
There are two aspects of dependency: physical and/or psychological reliance. In this case, the person with an addiction has the inability to stop a persistent behavior despite the negative impacts on his or her quality of life.
Tolerance involves the adjustments the body makes in the presence of an addictive substance or activity. Eventually, more of the addictive substance or behavior is needed to gain the original effect.
This process is the physiological and psychological response that occurs when an addictive agent is ceased.