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What is the definition of addiction that SSRF subscribes to?

Definition of addiction

Definition of addictionThe Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) defines addiction as it is given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – IV (DSM-IV). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States. We have obtained a copy of the definition from the Hawaii Department of Health.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – IV (DSM-IV) describes addiction as a maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

  • Substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g. visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use of the substance (e.g. chain smoking), or to recover from its effects.
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance abuse.
  • Continued substance abuse despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent psychological or physical problems that are caused or exacerbated by abuse of the substance.

Tolerance is defined by either:

  • The need for significantly increased amounts of the substance in order to achieve intoxication or the desired effect; or
  • A significantly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount.

Withdrawal is manifested by either:

  • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance; or
  • Taking the same (or a closely related) substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

It is important to note that addictions are not just limited to the traditional substances, such as drinking, smoking and drugs. A person can be addicted to various things such as food, chocolate, sex, video games and gambling. In all addictions, a person’s ability to pursue a spiritual life is compromised.

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