- Uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as a drug or alcohol. Dependence is such a point that stopping is very difficult and causes severe physical and mental reactions.
* * *Habitual psychological and physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control. [L. ad-dico, pp. -dictus, consent, fr. ad- + dico, to say]
* * *ad·dic·tion ə-'dik-shən n compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal broadly persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful compare HABITUATION
* * *n.a state of dependence produced by the habitual taking of drugs. Strictly speaking, the term implies the state of physical dependence induced by such drugs as morphine, heroin, and alcohol, but it is also used for the state of psychological dependence, produced by drugs such as barbiturates. Treatment is aimed at gradual withdrawal of the drug and eventually total abstention. See also alcoholism, tolerance.
* * *ad·dic·tion (ə-dikґshən) 1. the state of being given up to some habit or compulsion. 2. strong physiological and psychological dependence on a drug or other psychoactive substance; see drug a.
Medical dictionary. 2011.