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If you are taking medication prescribed by a professional, and following the instructions provided with that medication, you may be dependent, but you are not addicted.
Addiction is a physical craving that includes an element of harm to yourself or others. Seeking drugs that aren't medically needed, taking drugs to escape from ordinary responsibilities, or feeling unable to stop using a drug are signs of addiction.
Addictions usually begin by wanting to experience the feelings of relaxation and euphoria that narcotics can bring. They may be looking for an escape from stress or looking to fit in with friends who are users. Some act out of boredom, rebellion, or curiosity. Many of these people never become addicted, but there is no way to predict whether you will be one of them.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|