|Addiction and dependence glossary|
|• addiction – a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences|
|• addictive behavior – a behavior that is both rewarding and reinforcing|
|• addictive drug – a drug that is both rewarding and reinforcing|
|• dependence – an adaptive state associated with a withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of repeated exposure to a stimulus (e.g., drug intake)|
|• drug sensitization or reverse tolerance – the escalating effect of a drug resulting from repeated administration at a given dose|
|• drug withdrawal – symptoms that occur upon cessation of repeated drug use|
|• physical dependence – dependence that involves persistent physical–somatic withdrawal symptoms (e.g., fatigue and delirium tremens)|
|• psychological dependence – dependence that involves emotional–motivational withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and anhedonia)|
|• reinforcing stimuli – stimuli that increase the probability of repeating behaviors paired with them|
|• rewarding stimuli – stimuli that the brain interprets as intrinsically positive or as something to be approached|
|• sensitization – an amplified response to a stimulus resulting from repeated exposure to it|
|• tolerance – the diminishing effect of a drug resulting from repeated administration at a given dose|
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An addictive behavior is a behavior, or a stimulus related to a behavior (e.g., sex or food), that is both rewarding and reinforcing, and is associated with the development of an addiction. Addictions involving addictive behaviors are normally referred to as behavioral addictions.
Compulsion vs addiction
Compulsions and addictions are intertwined and reward is one major distinction between an addiction and a compulsion (as it is experienced in obsessive-compulsive disorder). An addiction is, by definition, a form of compulsion, and both addictions and compulsions involve reinforcement learning; however, in addiction, the desire to use a substance or engage in a behavior is based on the expectation that it will be rewarding (i.e., involves positive reinforcement). In contrast, someone who experiences a compulsion as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder may not perceive any reward from acting on the compulsion. Often, it is a way of dealing with the obsessive part of the disorder, resulting in a feeling of relief (i.e., also includes negative reinforcement).
It is interesting to note that deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens, a region in the brain involved heavily in addiction and reinforcement learning, has proven to be an effective treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Nestler EJ (December 2013). "Cellular basis of memory for addiction". Dialogues Clin. Neurosci. 15 (4): 431–443. PMC 3898681. PMID 24459410.
- Malenka RC,Nestler EJ, Hyman SE (2009). "Chapter 15: Reinforcement and Addictive Disorders". In Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. 364–375. ISBN 9780071481274.
- "Glossary of Terms". Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Department of Neuroscience. Retrieved 9 February 2015.