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What is addiction?

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet.” This is Juliet's line when she is telling Romeo that a name is nothing but a name and it is hence a convention with no meaning behind it.

Some people have strong opinions and preferences as to the name used to describe it, addiction, dependence, substance use disorder...

Whatever your preference, addiction is a disorder of brain reward motivation and memory circuitry, resulting in overwhelming compulsions to act out the addictive behaviour despite negative consequences.


The disorder is bio psychosocial, meaning in simple terms that it can be identified and described in terms of complex neuronal circuits in the brain, it is experienced in consciousness and described in psychological constructs, and, as all complex human behaviours, is intrinsically linked to the environment, and interwoven within responses to interpersonal relationships within social landscapes.


It doesn't matter what you call it. Residential rehabilitation provides an opportunity, following the treatment of chemical dependency if needed, for a safe and protected environment where people can start a recovery journey through intense psychological therapy and self-reflection.

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