Mens Sana Monographs
: 2006  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 104--126

What does addiction mean to me

Morten Hesse 
 Aarhus University Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research K°bmagergade 26E DK 1150 Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Morten Hesse
Aarhus University Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research K°bmagergade 26E DK 1150 Copenhagen

Addiction is compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance. It is accepted as a mental illness in the diagnostic nomenclature and results in substantial health, social and economic problems. In the diagnostic nomenclature, addiction was originally included in the personality disorders along with other behaviours considered deviant. But it is now considered a clinical syndrome. Addiction is multifactorially determined, with substantial genetic influence. The development of addictions is also influenced by environmental factors, and an interplay between the two. In the clinical context, addiction puts problem substance use on the agenda, and helps focus on the difficulties associated with drug use. But the concept of addiction is also used to distance the user from addicts, and in this way, may be counter-therapeutic. The addiction concept has also had a substantial influence on policy. The almost universal prohibition against drugs such as opiates, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine has much support. But unfortunately, it has not been able to hinder the development of substance use problems. Optimism is fostered by the development of respectful ways of thinking about people with addictions, in particular, from advocates of motivational interviewing.

How to cite this article:
Hesse M. What does addiction mean to me.Mens Sana Monogr 2006;4:104-126

How to cite this URL:
Hesse M. What does addiction mean to me. Mens Sana Monogr [serial online] 2006 [cited 2020 Sep 29 ];4:104-126
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