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Understanding addiction

What you need to know about addiction is here.

A couple sitting on a dock

What is addiction?

Addiction is a disease that causes two types of dependence:

Physical dependence
Physical dependence is the result of physical changes in the brain through the use of an addictive drug, which produces symptoms of withdrawal in the absence of that drug.
Psychological dependence
Psychological dependence is the result of prolonged use of an addictive drug, causing an emotional need or compulsion to continue using it.

Signs of addiction

Physical signs

  • Altered sleep habits
  • Small or pinpoint pupils
  • Dramatic weight changes
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Frequent colds or illnesses
  • Itchy skin or unexplained cuts or scabs
  • Leg cramps
  • Poor hygiene

Emotional signs

  • A sense of desperation
  • Changes in personality or friends
  • School or work performance problems
  • Out of or in need of money
  • Nodding off or constant sleep problems
  • Paranoia
  • Secrecy