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What Do We Mean By Drug Addiction?

Substance dependence is a state that develops from repeated use of drugs, and results in withdrawal symptoms when that drug use stops. This is known as a drug addiction when that drug usage is compulsive and out of control.

Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting is incredibly hard because of the effects the drugs have on the brain, reducing self-control and increasing urges to keep taking them. This is a chronic, relapsing disease that puts people at risk even after years of not taking a drug.

Most drugs ‘reward’ the brain’s pleasure centres and cause a ‘high’ that motivates further drug use. Tolerance developed over time means more of the drug needs to be taken over time to repeat the same high.