Behavioral Definition of Addiction: 3 C’s
Compulsion: obsessive-compulsive behavior with drugs.
Users think about alcohol and drugs in a vicious negative cycle;their obsessive concern and preoccupation follow incessant use of drugs in a continuous pattern and compulsive lifestyle.
Control: inability to stop using.
Users cannot stop for at least three months,And/or make feeble attempts to cut back in a progression of stop-then-start patterns. They are unable to refuse readily available drugs.
Consequences: continued use despite adverse consequences.
Users are caught up in their addictions, illustrating the pervasive defense mechanisms of denial (rationalization and minimization)
Harvard Mental Letter 1955: elements for diagnosis of alcohol/drug addiction:
1. Compulsion/loss of control. Using more than intended. Unable to cut back or stop.
2. Tolerance: to the effects of the chemical. Withdrawal symptoms.
3. Impairment: preoccupation with further use. Medical, social, psychological, legal, or vocational complications.
Compulsive search for happiness outside of yourself.
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