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Addiction

  • By: Katie Witkiewitz & Nadia Aracelliz Villarroel
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

The term addiction has been used to describe behavior that becomes obsessive, compulsive, or excessive and/or results in physical or psychological dependence on a drug, food, or a behavior (e.g., gambling). There are various elements that might explain an individual's susceptibility to an addiction. Biological and genetic factors as well as social environments and psychological factors are all significant in the development and progression of an addictive behavior. The development of an addiction stems from experimentation with alcohol and other drugs or from our daily activities. An addictive behavior can be initiated by a single event, but the risk of acquiring an addiction increases when this single occurrence is repeated with more frequency and at greater doses. Ultimately, an addictive behavior interferes with the ability ...

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