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Drug Addiction

  1. George F. Koob

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0290

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Koob, G. F. 2010. Drug Addiction. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Substance dependence can be defined as a chronically relapsing disorder characterized by (1) compulsion to seek and take the drug, (2) loss of control in limiting intake, and (3) emergence of a negative emotional state (e.g., dysphoria, anxiety, irritability) when access to the drug is prevented (defined here as withdrawal). Addiction and substance dependence, as currently defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), are used interchangeably in this article to refer to a final stage of a usage process that moves from drug use to abuse to addiction. The term dependence has two meanings: (1) an acute withdrawal syndrome (defined here as dependence with a little “d”), and (2) a syndrome in which a subject meets the criteria for substance dependence. In addiction, drug-taking behavior progresses from impulsivity to compulsivity in a three-stage cycle consisting of binge/intoxication, withdrawal/negative affect, and preoccupation/anticipation.