Addiction is a medical condition that is a result of ingestion of abusive substance such as cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, etc. or engagement in activities such as sex, gambling, shopping, etc., which are all pleasurable, which when continued or practiced for an extended period of time becomes a compulsive and interfering habit that affects the usual life responsibilities (work/ relationships, health, etc.). Usually, users are not aware that they have developed an addiction and unknowingly their behavior goes out of control resulting in problems for themselves as well as others.
Substance addiction has been defined as a chronic condition, which often relapses into brain disease that results in compulsive substance seeking and use, irrespective of its harmful consequences to the user’s health and those around them. Substance abuse is considered as a brain disease as when the users take drugs, it results in structural and functional changes in the brain. Even though, users initially take drugs voluntarily, yet over the time, after repeated drug abuse, the brain undergoes certain changes that affect the user’s self- control and their ability to take a sound decision and at the same time make an intense impulse to abuse drugs.
A compulsive habit that forces the users to continually engage themselves in an activity or behaviour irrespective of its negative impact on his/ her ability to remain physically and/ or mentally healthy and functional at home and in the community is defined as process addiction. During this process, the user might find the addiction behaviour rewarding psychologically or feel “high” when engaged in that activity, however, later the user might feel guilty, overwhelmed or even remorse by the consequence of the continued habit. Unfortunately, as it is common for all those who struggle hard with addiction, users who live with the process addictions are also unable to prevent themselves from engaging in the behaviour for any span of time without any treatment and/ or intervention.