How Common Is Addiction?

According to the World Health Organization

91,600,000

People worldwide have substance abuse disorders

76.3 million people worldwide have alcohol use disorders
15.3 million people worldwide have drug use disorders
1/3 of the world’s population over the age of 15 smoke tobacco.

Addiction has many faces.

It also has various definitions.
We will provide clarity and be a guide to a better understanding of addiction.

Dictionary

Addiction
[uh-dik-shuh n] – noun

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Psychology

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behaviour is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviours.

Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioural control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviours and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

The definition of drug addiction refers to the obsessive and repeated use of dangerous amounts of drugs and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs. The effects of drug addiction seen, due to this compulsion, are wide-ranging and profound. Effects of drug addiction are felt by the addict both physically and psychologically. The effects are also seen in those around the addict, like family members. American Society of Addiction Medicine.