A mental disposition towards repeated episodes of abnormally high levels of motivation to engage in a behaviour, acquired as a result of engaging in the behaviour, where the behaviour results in risk or occurrence of serious net harm.
This entity focuses on abnormal motivation to engage in a behaviour and includes serious net harm as a feature. The reason is to limit the class to things that merit a treatment and public health response. It is a quantitative entity and a fuzzy set because there can be varying thresholds set for degree of harm and strength of motivation. As a result, it is essential to operationalise the term for it to be meaningful.
The aim is to include dispositions about which there is a consensus that they constitute addiction while avoiding making a disputed statement about whether addiction necessarily involves disordered brain mechanisms (e.g. cases where a person's addiction may be considered an adaptive response to very chellenging life circumstances but may nevertheless benefit from treatment).
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