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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(10), 4025-4038; doi:10.3390/ijerph8104025

Considering the Definition of Addiction

1
Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology, University of Southern California, Soto Street Building, Room 302, 2001 N. Soto Street, Los Angeles, California 90032, USA
2
2329 Winthrop Avenue, Apt. 60, Roanoke, Virgina 24015, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 September 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 20 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
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Abstract

The definition of addiction is explored. Elements of addiction derived from a literature search that uncovered 52 studies include: (a) engagement in the behavior to achieve appetitive effects, (b) preoccupation with the behavior, (c) temporary satiation, (d) loss of control, and (e) suffering negative consequences. Differences from compulsions are suggested. While there is some debate on what is intended by the elements of addictive behavior, we conclude that these five constituents provide a reasonable understanding of what is intended by the concept. Conceptual challenges for future research are mentioned.
Keywords: definition; addiction definition; addiction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sussman, S.; Sussman, A.N. Considering the Definition of Addiction. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4025-4038.

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