What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a brain disorder typified by repeated participation in perceivably rewarding activities in spite of adverse consequences. These activities include but are not limited to alcohol use, drug use, sexual activity, gambling and self-harm. A distinction must be made between addiction and dependency. Dependency refers to the presence of withdrawal symptoms once a substance is ceased while addiction describes the compulsive engagement in an activity that may occur without withdrawal. Addiction and dependency may be present independently of one another.