Addiction life not a illness choice about long lifestyle

Addiction is really a major health problem that costs as much as all other mental illnesses combined (about £40 billion per year) and about around cancer and cardiovascular disorders also.

At its core addiction is a state of altered brain function that contributes to fundamental changes in behavior that are manifest by repeated use of alcohol or other drugs or engaging in activities such as gambling.  They're usually resisted, albeit unsuccessfully, by the addict.  The important thing features of addiction is therefore a situation of habitual behaviour such as drug taking or gambling that's initially enjoyable but which eventually becomes self-sustaining or habitual. The urge to participate in the behaviour becomes so powerful that it inhibits normal life often to the level of overtaking work, personal relationships and family activities. Now the individual could be reported to be addicted: the addict's every thought and action is directed to their addiction and everything else suffers.

If the addictive behaviour is not possible e.g. because they do not have sufficient money then feelings of intense distress emerge. These may result in dangerously impulsive and sometimes aggressive actions.  In case of drug/alcohol addiction the problem is compounded by the occurrence of withdrawal reactions which cause further distress and motivate desperate attempts to locate more of the addictive agent. This urge to obtain the drug may be so overpowering that addicts will commit seemingly random crimes to have the resources to buy more drug. It's been estimated that about 70% of acquisitive crime is associated with drug and alcohol use.

Addiction is driven by a complex group of internal and external factors.  The external factors are well understood:  the more access to the specified drug or behaviour e.g. gambling the more addiction there is.

The interior factors are less clear. Although most addiction is always to alcohol and other drugs, addiction to gambling and other behaviours such as sex or shopping can occur. These tell us that the brain can develop hard-to-control urges independent of changing its chemistry with drugs.  All addictions share a common thread in that they're initially pleasurable activities, often extremely enjoyable. This results in these behaviours hijacking the brain's normal pleasure systems in order that naturally enjoyable activities such as family life, work, exercise become devalued and the more excessive addiction behaviours take over.

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