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Other Addictions

Use of the term addiction has traditionally been limited to the habitual and destructive use of alcohol and other drugs. The more casual use of the word in recent years, however, has created a new designation for behavioral problems that spiral out of control. Compulsive gambling, shopping, spending, eating, working, and exercising, as well as excessive Internet use and sexual behaviors are now often called "other addictions." While debate continues as to whether the repetitive occurrence of these behaviors is a true addiction, a compulsion, or just a behavior gone awry, it is clear that people suffer from the repercussions these problem behaviors bring.

The Debate

Questions about whether compulsive behaviors should be defined as addictions center on several points. One rationale against the idea comes from ...

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