What are the elements of addiction?

The definition of addiction is explored. One of the elements that drives addiction is altering the way the brain produces chemicals that alter mood. As substance abuse occurs, the brain produces fewer chemicals because the body has enough drugs or alcohol. Activating these receptors with an external substance means that they start to work less all the time, not just during drug use, making the tasks they once enjoyed less fun and exciting.

Consume or drink larger amounts or for longer periods of time than planned. People with substance use and behavioral addictions may be aware of their problem, but they can't stop doing it even if they want to and try. Addiction can cause physical and psychological problems, as well as interpersonal problems, such as with family and friends or at work. Alcohol and drug use is one of the leading causes of preventable diseases and premature death across the country.

Addiction interferes with normal brain function, especially in the reward system. Before we get into the different types of addiction, it's helpful to understand some general elements of addiction. It's also important to personally understand the elements of addiction and how it's so difficult to break the cycle of dependence.