The most important unresolved issue in the addictions: conceptual chaos.

  title={The most important unresolved issue in the addictions: conceptual chaos.},
  author={Howard J. Shaffer},
  journal={Substance use & misuse},
  volume={32 11},
This article suggests that the field of addiction study and treatment remains in a state of conceptual chaos. The addictions is an emerging scientific field that lacks conceptual clarity. To develop the precision necessary for scientific advance, we must begin by developing improved definitions of substance use, abuse, dependence, and addiction. Complicating matters, psychoactive substance use is not a necessary and sufficient cause of addiction. For example, pathological gamblers experience… CONTINUE READING

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