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Introduction to What is An Addiction

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D. Updated: Jun 5th 2019

When we hear the word "addiction", many images come to our mind. We see the falling down drunk. We see a woman who sells her body in exchange for a "fix." We remember a permanently disabled teen in a wheelchair because of a drunk-driving accident. We read about a famous entertainer who died, and another whose sensational sex scandals are splashed across the tabloids. Most of us know a friend or family member, whose lives are affected by addiction. We all know that addiction is a serious problem. But behind that widely held agreement are many disagreements and questions. How big are addiction problems exactly? How does addiction differ from experimentation, misbehavior, and bad habits? What causes addiction? How does one overcome it? How successful is addiction treatment? How should society respond to individuals with addiction? What should governments do about addiction? Is addiction mostly a modern problem? Is the addiction problem getting worse?

addiction dictionary entryThis article will not resolve all the passionate debates surrounding these questions. With so much controversy and differences of opinion, it is often difficult to separate fact from opinion, and myth from reality. Therefore, our goal is more modest: To help you, the reader, gain a better understanding of this complex issue so that you can form your own opinions about addiction. In this way, if you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction problem, you can make an informed decision about what to do about it.

 

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D.

Practical Recovery, established in 1985, is the world's leader in collaborative addiction treatment. Located in San Diego, California (USA), we offer a full range inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services that are customized for each person. We rely on proven methods, informed by the latest neuroscience and addictions research. Our methods empower people to create their own solutions for healthy living, rather than relying on the 12-step powerlessness approach. Most services are provided by doctoral level, university-trained clinicians. We provide individual and group sessions; medications and detox as needed; flexible length of stay; and optional holistic healing. We offer modern comforts and conveniences such as private rooms; gourmet meals; excursions to the beach; mobile communication; and computer access. For a complimentary consultation, call 800-977-6110.

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