Dependence, Addiction

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Dependence, Addiction
Dependence, Addiction
Video: Dependence, Addiction
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Dependencies and their consequences

Any improper consumption of certain substances can be addictive, especially those that have a strong influence on the experience and behavior of healthy people. Addiction can have serious consequences. In addition to substance-related dependencies (e.g. alcohol, medication, etc.) there are also those that are not bound to substances. These are referred to as non-substance-related addictions or “behavioral addictions” (e.g. gambling addiction). The time it takes to develop into addiction varies. Sometimes it comes to "trying" in puberty. Whether or not a dependency develops depends on many different factors.

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  • How addictions are expressed
  • What is addiction syndrome?
  • Consequences of addiction disorders

How addictions are expressed

The spectrum of substances that can lead to addiction ranges from legal substances (such as alcohol, nicotine etc.) to illegal ones (such as cocaine, ecstasy etc.). A dependency manifests itself through various signs, for example:

  • by a strong desire for the substance. Everyday life is shaped by a strong desire or constant desire for the “drug” or the need to perform a special action. Life is aligned accordingly, and other needs are put aside. Loss of control is also typical. This leads to the fact that you almost always consume more than you intended.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can occur if there is suddenly no more consumption or consumption to a lesser extent. This manifests itself, for example, through symptoms such as sweating, restlessness, nausea, tremors, etc. In the context of behavioral addictions, withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia or irritability can occur if consumption is restricted. In addition, tolerance, getting used to the substance and the resulting reduced sensitivity and reaction to it play a role - that is, higher and higher amounts are necessary to achieve the same effect.

For more information about the hallmarks of behavioral addiction, see Behavioral addictions. You can find more information on substance-related addiction under the respective addiction disease.

Note Even if there is no addiction, the consumption of an addictive substance can damage the body and / or psyche, e.g. through organ damage - including the brain - or injuries from accidents, etc.

What is addiction syndrome?

The unnoticed transition from controlled to uncontrolled consumption is characteristic of a development towards “addiction”. A substance dependency syndrome is present if at least three of the following criteria occur within a year:

  • Strong desire or compulsion to consume the psychoactive substance (craving),
  • Loss of control (reduced ability to control the start, end or extent of consumption),
  • Physical and / or psychological withdrawal symptoms when the substance is no longer or less consumed (not with all substances),
  • Increased tolerance (getting used to the substance and increasing tolerance),
  • Neglect of other interests in favor of substance use,
  • Persistent consumption despite evidence of clearly harmful physical, psychological or social consequences.

The diagnosis of addiction is made by a doctor. In the vast majority of cases, this development of dependence on those affected is not perceived accordingly or the wish to suppress the problem is in the foreground. Relatives and friends also often do not notice the development - at least for the time being.

For more information about the hallmarks of behavioral addiction, see Behavioral addictions.

Consequences of addiction disorders

The consequences of addiction disorders are different. Depending on the addiction, among other things, they affect health and social life to different degrees. Usually the dependency affects all areas of life of those affected - and also affects the environment (e.g. the family). Further information can be found under the respective addiction disease.

Further information on addiction can be found on the BMSGPK website and under Services.

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