What is addiction – Addiction is the continued use of a substance or act despite being harmful to the
individual and it is beyond habit. There are many types of addiction and addiction to nicotine (tobacco),
alcohol, drugs, volatile substance, gambling and caffeine are among the most common ones. Social and
environmental factors play a role in the development of the addiction. The individiual might start
something to try it out and later uses it for socializing purposes which continues as abuse and the
individual becomes addicted to that object.
Physiological and Psychological Addiction
1 – Physiological Addiction: is a physical demand of the possession of the substance. In case the
substance isn't injected/ingested into the body such negative symptoms like nausea, vomiting,
trembling and shivering can be observed.
2 – Psychological Addiction: is the state of belief that the individual can't live without the substance,
getting used to it and desiring the substance. Unless the substance is ingested/injected into the body,
psychological symptoms anxiety and nervousness can be observed.
Both physiological and psychological addictions can be observed in any individual together and it is
relatively easier to treat physiological addiction compared to psychological addiction because the
treatment of psychological addiction is dependent on the will of the individual and requires a lengthy
To diagnose addiction as a psychiatric syndrome, it is sufficient that only three of the criteria mentioned
below are observed together.
Developing a tolerance to the abused substance
Emergence of symptoms of absence when substance is cut off or reduced
Vain efforts to regulate or end substance abuse
Spending a vast amount of time in pursuit of obtaining, using or giving up the substance
Negatively effected social, personal and professional activities as a consequence of substance abuse
Abuse of substance in increasing frequency and quantity or continuation of substance abuse despite
development of or increase in psychological issues