Hellenic News of American 3 Νοεμβρίου & Linked-In 6 Νοεμβρίου, 2021
By Prof. Georgios Piperopoulos & Dr Anastasia-Natasha G.Piperopoulou
Addiction or dependence has been defined as a state in which a person is unable to stop engaging in a behavior because of strong physical, psychological and social reasons. Thus, an addiction is essentially an ‘excessive appetite’: a repetitive behavior that is subject to powerful motivational forces. Addiction has also been defined as a repetitive habit pattern that increases the risk of financial and physical problems. Addictive behaviors are often experienced subjectively as ‘loss of control’ - the behavior continues to occur despite volitional attempts to abstain or moderate use. These habit patterns are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), often coupled with delayed, deleterious effects (long-term costs).
Attempts to change an addictive behavior (via treatment or by self-initiation) are typically marked by high relapse rates. The key features of an addictive behavior can be considered as a compulsion or strong desire to engage in the behavior; an overwhelming priority or salience being given to the behavior; an impaired capacity to control the behavior; distress if prevented from carrying out the behavior; and a detrimental effect on the individual, the family and society at large.
Examining the subject of ‘addictions’ with a sufficient dose of socio-psychological and philosophical sobriety, it will easily emerge and will be equally easy to discern that humans, throughout history, have always had the tendency to become ‘addicted’ to one or more of a multitude of dependency producing substances and behaviors.