Symptoms of Addiction

  • The cardinal symptom of addiction is the inability to limit use of a substance or activity beyond need leading to clinically significant impairment.
  • There is a craving or compulsion to use the substance or activity.
  • Recurrent use of the drug or activity escalates to achieve the desired effect, indicating tolerance.
  • Attempts to stop usage produce symptoms of withdrawal—irritability, anxiety, shakes, nausea.
  • Recurrent use of the substance or activity impairs work, social, and family responsibilities, creates psychological impairments and interpersonal problems, has negative effects on health, mood, self-respect, exacerbated by the effects of the specific substance itself.

There are many symptoms created by the specific substance/activity that is used.

All addictions have the capacity to induce feelings of shame and guilt, a sense of hopelessness, and feelings of failure. In addition, anxiety and depression are common conditions among those with substance and behavioral addictions.

Recent posts on Addiction

It's Time to Legalize Marijuana: A Public Health Perspective

Whether it's legal or not, kids are going to use cannabis. Do we really want them to see the police as the enemy and throw them in jail?
ID 65746543 © Leck |

How Our Next President Could Fight the Opioid Epidemic

In this election cycle, ending the opioid epidemic comes down to technique.
ID 7810910 © Elena Elisseeva |

How and Why You Should Keep Your Temper in Check

By Richard Taite on October 21, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
At the end of the day we are human, not perfect, and it is okay to make mistakes so long as we learn from them and try to do better.

Cheating? But It Was Just a Webcam!

In the 21st century, as our lives have become increasingly more digital, the once-clear line between monogamy and infidelity has gotten rather blurry.

Prescription Drug Abuse and the Physician Gatekeeper

Many medications can be abused. Prescribing doctors are gatekeepers who separate legitimate use from abuse. However, this distinction is becoming less clear.
Kasia Bialasiewicz/BigStock

Meditation Helps Eating Disorder Recovery

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on October 18, 2016 in Bottom's Up
When people are recovering from an eating disorder, anxiety and stress can cause them to react through harmful behaviors. Meditation is crucial to a healthy recovery.

Six Reasons Teens Turn to Drugs

There comes a time in a teen’s life where he or she is faced with the decision to take a drug. The power of that one decision is oftentimes underestimated.

Medical Marijuana and Pregnancy

By Ira J. Chasnoff M.D. on October 15, 2016 in Aristotle's Child
Should a doctor do a pregnancy test before prescribing marijuana to a woman of childbearing age?
ID 54016972 © Theerapol |

Kratom Needs to Be Researched Before It’s a Schedule 1 Drug

Let’s limit the access children have to the drug and engage in serious research so that we know exactly what we’re looking at.
ID 65746566 © Leck |

The DEA is Lowering Opioid Production in the U.S

By Richard Taite on October 14, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
The DEA’s decision to limit the amount of opioid painkillers produced in the United States is a prudent step.

Do Shame & "Rock Bottom" Decrease Dysregulated Behavior? No!

Do shaming and "rock bottom" help decrease dysregulated behavior? No! In fact, they can actually do the opposite.

Breaking the Trance

By The Book Brigade on October 13, 2016 in The Author Speaks
There are practical strategies parents can take to control children’s overuse of screen media.

Think Twice Before Giving Medical Marijuana to Your Pet

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in Animals and Us
It would be nice to think medical marijuana could cure epilepsy in dogs and anxiety in cats. But there are problems with the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.

Connecting Dots Between The Opioid Epidemic and Philanthropy

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 12, 2016 in Saving Normal
The Sackler family earned a fortune promoting the opioid epidemic and should devote their philanthropy to helping the millions of Americans who have been harmed by it.

This Could Be the Biggest Threat to Your Relationship

It's often referred to as "the invisible addiction."

5 Elements of Desire Formation

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in Science of Choice
Whether people will give in to the desire in any given time depends on two things: the strength of the desire and the strength of the self to resist the urge.

Middle America and the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

The opioid addiction epidemic is raging through middle America, and its families.

Kratom:The Legal High That Treats Chronic Pain and Addiction

By Mark Borigini M.D. on October 08, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
A motley crew consisting of haggard-looking scientists in their white coats and millennials with runny noses, patiently standing in the queue at the local GNC.
ID 28569047 © Sarra22 |

Legalizing Marijuana in California

By Richard Taite on October 07, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
If you treat young people with respect and give them good information, the likelihood is greater that they will make healthy choices.
ID 4252401 © Dana Rothstein |

Here’s How the High Holidays Can Support Your Recovery

If you think seeing your family all together will prompt you to use, give yourself a pass from the occasion guilt-free.

How Cocaine-Rush Feelings Are Stimulated on "The Bachelor"

Here are five examples of ways in which the scripting of reality TV shows enhances “cocaine-rush” feelings in new relationships.

Can Cycling Be Addictive?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in In Excess
There has been an increasing amount of research into exercise addiction and it's sub-types. One such type is 'cycling addiction' but can it really be classed as an addiction?

What Is the Link Between Alcohol and Creative Genius?

By Tom Shroder on October 05, 2016 in Acid Test
My author grandfather said he couldn't write when he wasn't drinking. It might have won him a Pulitzer Prize. It definitely killed him.

Unrequited Love: Why We Cling

By Wendy Paris on October 04, 2016 in Splitopia
Intermittent reward keeps us attached, says psychotherapist and author Jeanne Safer. We need to credit our own feelings of dissatisfaction and let go of "relentless hope."
Aliaksei Smalenski/Shutterstock

How Compassion Can Help You Support an Addicted Loved One

Compassion: The Best Way to Support a Partner or Family Member with an Addiction.

Is It Time to Retire ADHD?

For many Americans heroin addiction begins with the abuse of legally prescribed medications. Most often this involves painkillers, but sometimes trouble begins with ADHD drugs.

Is He or She an Addict First? Or a Narcissist First?

By Peg Streep on October 03, 2016 in Tech Support
When someone you love is addicted, your first impulse may be to offer all the support and empathy you can. But is this always wise? Apparently not....

Why Is It So Much Fun to Get a Box in the Mail?

By Donna Barstow on October 01, 2016 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Many of us order things online that we wouldn't think of getting at the store. Why? Curiosity!

What Leads Us to See Our Addictions for What They Are?

What experiences shape the moment of recognition that addiction is bondage and that freedom is worth clawing towards with every molecule of strength and courage that we possess?