Psychological and physical dependence on a drug or stimulant harmful to the user, a self-sustaining process which the addict is either unable to terminate of his own accord or can terminate only with great difficulty. The user often needs more of the substance in order to achieve the same effect (tolerance). As a result of withdrawal symptoms and psychological factors dependence increases and the addict can no longer do without it. Today the preferred term is dependency rather than addiction. The only form of addiction still socially acceptable to some people is addiction to nicotine in tobacco. Other addictions have more harmful effects on the user’s environment and are often even more harmful to the user himself. The commonest are alcoholism and drug addiction. Addiction to the so-called soft drugs (the cannabis derivates hashish and marihuana) occurs relatively rarely if the user has a reasonably well-balanced personality. The use of hard drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine or the narcotic drugs heroin and morphine carries a great danger of addiction. An underestimated form of addiction is addiction to soporifics. Treatment is very difficult. It is often considered successful if a heavy user of heroin or morphine changes to metha-

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