Addiction is a complex condition that arises from the combination of many factors, including exposure to an addictive substance. It is characterized by a person's compulsion to use a substance or engage in behavior, despite the harmful consequences. Addiction can involve the use of substances such as alcohol, inhalants, opioids, cocaine and nicotine, or behaviors such as gambling. In the late 19th century, British physician Dr.
Alexander Bentley conducted research on the successful treatment of opium addiction with cocaine. Two years later, he reported that he had been successful in treating opium and alcohol users with cocaine. This marked the beginning of addiction psychology and the study of how addiction affects the executive functions of the brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. In 1964, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that the term drug dependence replace addiction and habituation, as these terms did not provide a definition that could be applied to all medications in use.
From 1998 to 2002, WHO reported significant problems with opioid addiction in Asia, Europe and Australia; cocaine addiction in South America; and cannabis addiction in Africa. Today, addiction psychology is a field of study that seeks to understand how addiction affects individuals and society as a whole. It focuses on understanding the causes of addiction, developing effective treatments for those affected by it, and preventing future cases of addiction. Addiction psychology is an important field of study that has helped us to better understand the complexities of addiction and develop effective treatments for those affected by it.
By understanding its history and roots, we can continue to make progress in this field and help those struggling with addiction.