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Addictive behaviour

What Are Addictions?

An addictive behaviour is any activity, substance, object, or behaviour that becomes the major focus of a person’s life resulting in a physical, mental, and/or social withdrawal from their normal day-to-day obligations.

There are different types of addiction and virtually any activity or substance has the potential to become addictive. Drugs, alcohol, and nicotine are examples of substance addictions, whereas behaviour addiction may include gambling, sexual activity, the internet, food-related behaviours, shopping, work, or exercise.

Typically an individual becomes dependent or addicted to a substance to alleviate the pain and agony deriving from certain emotions. The phenomenon occurs subsequent to the first trial where the individual derives some pleasure which increases with additional usage. Continual usage leads to psychological strengthening which ultimately leads to psychological dependence or physical addiction.


While MTHFR mutations are a risk factor for smoking related cardiovascular disease, they have also been associated with smoking behaviour. Linneback et al (2012) compared to groups: smokers to non-smokers, and found non-smokers to have a higher prevalence of the un-mutated MTHFR genes (C677C and A1298A) when compared to the smokers group. Therefore, mutations to the MTHFR genes were demonstrated to be linked with smoking behaviour in this study.

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Carolyn Ledowsky

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