Addictions encompass psychological and physical needs

Tackling an addiction may mean dealing with a physical dependency. Heroin, for instance, produces highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which may include nausea, muscle pains, cramping, fever and insomnia. Some aspects of an addict’s behaviour attempt to avoid these.

The heroin addict will also be psychologically dependent, relying on the drug high to get them through the day.

Addictions vary in their balance between physical and psychological dependency. Some, such as gambling, are almost entirely psychological.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Addiction’ in June 2010 and reviewed and updated in September 2015.

Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development