Chapter 12: Addictive Behaviors
The illicit substances most commonly used in the United States include marijuana/hashish,
cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin.
Compulsive behaviors, including eating disorders, gambling, computer gaming and interacting,
and excessive exercise, are considered addictive behaviors.
Addiction is a complex disorder that is a treatable, chronic, relapsing disease. It is considered a
Addiction results from the prolonged effects of addictive drugs or behaviors on the brain.
The brain reward system is a system that creates the sensation of pleasure. The
neurotransmitter dopamine plays a role in addiction.
Genetics, environment, and sociocultural factors contribute to addiction.
o The most common addictive behavior is tobacco use. The complications associated with
the use of tobacco (nicotine) are related to dose and method of ingestion.
o Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States.
o Is the most potent of the abused stimulants. Besides its effects on the brain reward
system, cocaine produces adrenalin-like effects.
o Persons who abuse cocaine have problems related to sleep, appetite, depression,
respiratory infections, chest pain, and/or headaches.
Amphetamines stimulate the central and peripheral nervous systems. They cause increased
alertness, improved performance, relief of fatigue, and anorexia.
Caffeine promotes alertness and alleviates fatigue. It is a weak CNS stimulant.
Alcohol: o Is consumed by almost 50% of Americans over the age of 12. Alcohol abuse affects 10%
of the population.
o Alcoholism is a chro