Historically, addiction has been defined with regard solely to psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.

Many people, both psychology professionals and laymen, now feel that there should be accommodation made to include psychological dependency on such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, internet, work, exercise, idolising, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, cutting and shopping so these behaviors count as 'addictions' as well and cause guilt, shame, fear, hopelessness, failure, rejection, anxiety, or humiliation symptoms associated with, among other medical conditions, depression and epilepsy


Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. 

The term \"drug abuse\" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts. The terms have a huge range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. All of these definitions imply a negative judgment of the drug use in question (compare with the term responsible drug use for alternative views).

Some of the drugs most often associated with this term include alcohol, amphetamines,barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methaqualone, and opioids. Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, both strongly depending on local jurisdiction. 

Other definitions of drug abuse fall into four main categories: public health definitions, mass communication and vernacular usage, medical definitions, and political and criminal justice definitions.

Worldwide, the UN estimates there are more than 50 million regular users of heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs.


Articles About Addiction

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck on the Truth Behind the Card Counting Casino Reports

By IBTimes AU

The "Gone Girl" star said the rumours are just partly true. (Sep 18)

An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City
Vatican Car Has Cocaine and Cannabis

By IBTimes AU

A Vatican diplomatic car was used to buy cocaine and cannabis by two Italian men. (Sep 17)

Genes and Addiction
Better Strategies Needed to Prevent Injured Workers from Abusing Opioids

By IBTimes AU

A panel of speakers at the 2014 California Workers' Compensation & Risk Conference called on workers compensation professionals to devise a "comprehensive strategy" to effectively prevent injured workers from abusing opioid drugs, a re... (Sep 17)


Residents watch a dragon dance
Strange But True: A Street in China Dedicated to Cellphone Users

By IBTimes AU

Situated in south-west China the Foreigner street is famous for its food, games and architecture from around the world. (Sep 16)


Photo of Sean O'Haire
Ex-WWE Wrestler Sean O’Haire Commits Suicide At 43; Why So Many Wrestlers Die Young

By IBTimes AU

According to local police, O'Haire committed suicide and was found by his bed with a red rope tied around his neck, the other end tied to the bed post. (Sep 12)

Nick Cannon, Left, Speaks To A Reporter While His Wife Mariah Carey, 2nd Right, Looks On.
Mariah Carey-Nick Cannon Divorce Reports: Mariah Heading For Rehab, Depressed And Turning To Alcohol

By IBTimes AU

Mariah is reportedly nearing mental breakdown that she may land in the hospital soon if she doesn't seek clinical help. (Sep 12)

DEA Publishes Final Rule on Hydrocodone Rescheduling, Met with Mixed Opinions

By IBTimes AU

A new U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration rule has rescheduled narcotic painkillers from Substance III to Substance II in a move to stop the rise in opioid abuse in the U.S., several reports stated. (Sep 12)


Robert Downey at the Toronto International Film Festival
Robert Downey Jr Talks of Son’s & His Addictions In Vanity Fair October Issue

By IBTimes AU

Actor Robert Downey Jr, 49, shares his family's addiction problems in the October edition of Vanity Fair magazine. The star of the Toronto Film Festival entry The Judge gives more details about his personal demons as the cover story of the publication. (Sep 12)


A policeman locks up the cell of inmates at the jail where crew members of Florida-based shipwreck salvage company Aqua Quest International have been detained, in Puerto Lempira, on the Mosquito coast of northeastern Honduras June 8, 2014. The crew of the
Inmates Entering Ohio Prisons for Crimes Linked to Opioid Use Up 8.3%

By IBTimes AU

Because of a state-wide heroin and opioid epidemic, Ohio is locking up hundreds of non-violent, drug-addicted offenders yearly. For the 13-year period 2000 to 2013, the number of people accused of possession and petty theft tied to heroin or opioid use went up to 8.3 per cent from 1.6 per cent. (Sep 12)


Former NBA Player Marvin 'Bad News' Barnes Dead At 62

By IBTimes AU

Former NBA player Marvin "Bad News" Barnes whose career was derailed by substance abuse dies at age 62. (Sep 10)

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