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Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 19 January 2022 and 17 May 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Friedchickenprincess.

Epidemiology: Addiction Prevalence vs Usage Prevalence[edit]

Upon reviewing the epidemiology section, I've come to find that many sections use prevalence of usage rather than prevalence of addiction, such as daily tobacco users in Europe, or general smartphone ownership in Asia. While it makes sense in the absense of other information, and given the fact that addiction isn't as easily measureable, it is not the same thing. I'm wondering if going forward if it makes sense to keep it exclusively about addiction, or if a more relaxed limitation in favour of filling out the section is better? Tunnardc (talk) 00:07, 28 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Tunnardc, do you feel like the difference is clearly labeled in each instance?
IMO talking about daily tobacco users seems reasonable, because I understand there's a fairly high overlap between daily use and addiction. The prevalence of smartphones strikes me as weaker. Especially for people who don't have a personal laptop, you could be a "heavy user" (e.g., to slowly type your homework on a tiny screen) without being "addicted". Clearly identifying each meaning could help. In the case of the smartphone use, the signal might need to be strong: "Although owning or using is not the same as being addicted..." I think the main relevance is that if x% of people have regular access to a smartphone, then that's the maximum number of people who could be considered at risk for smartphone overuse. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:36, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
agree w/ WAID--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 12:19, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks @Ozzie10aaaa and @WhatamIdoing for sharing your insights with this student !Mcbrarian (talk) 19:15, 8 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose the only drawback to using a prevalence of use statistic is that the fraction of a population of drug users that become drug addicts for any given drug is variable across cultures and over time. Statistics for the prevalence of addiction itself are probably going to be difficult to find and will be subject to potentially large measurement errors for various reasons. Seppi333 (Insert ) 20:31, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks @Seppi333! We really value your input. I had similar concerns. I don't think there's a definite answer here. Mcbrarian (talk) 21:43, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Food Addiction[edit]

There has been an ongoing debate on whether to classify food addiction as a behavioral addiction or as a substance use disorder/drug addiction. The evidence for food addiction to be classified under a behavioral addiction is through the consensus that eating is the addictive behavior that results in the 'high'. The evidence for food addiction to be classified under a drug addiction/substance use disorder is that the high sugar/fat content of certain foods rewire the brain's reward system, resulting in addiction (similar to many drugs and alcohol). I found it necessary to classify it has a behavioral addiction at first but then moved it up to the 'drug addiction' section because I felt as though it fit the description of a drug addiction better since food addiction was particular to foods with high fat/sugar content and not to disordered patterns of eating. However, I'm curious to know whether other users agree or disagree and how we should classify food addictions such that it is easily understood. --Gethmie.d (talk) 20:49, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Gethmie.d: This website: is not WP:RS. It speaks of really existing porn/sex addiction, while according to DSM-5-TR (March 2022) there is no such thing as porn/sex addiction. Same applies to is not WP:RS for the same reason: it posits a bogus medical diagnosis.
Let me repeat it very clearly: sexual addiction and pornography addiction are not recognized medical diagnoses. Meaning the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association do not recognize them as valid diagnoses. And ICD-11 (meaning the World Health Organization) does not recognize that CSBD would be an addiction.
If these two websites tell their patients that medical insurance pays for treatment for sexual addiction and/or pornography addiction, that's fraud. tgeorgescu (talk) 21:27, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @Tgeorgescu
I have reviewed your deletions. I am in agreement that the sources cited are not WP:MEDRS. I have connected with the student editor and they will be looking for reliable sources to support the content. If they can find reliable sources to verify the the content, they will restore the deleted content with new, reliable citations. I have direct them to review WP:MEDRS before they repost the removed content. I do wish to point out one thing though: the porn addiction web page was not cited here. But it is no matter, since it is the website, not the web page, that is problematic. Thanks again for your keen eye. Mcbrarian (talk) 21:47, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Missing info on neurobiological impacts beyond protein-level reward-system changes[edit]

I think the article is missing info on neurobiological impacts of various excessive uses of various drugs and addictions, such as neuroanatomical ones and changes that aren't as related to reward systems.

For example:

The craving and deficits in executive function in the so-called preoccupation/anticipation stage involve the dysregulation of key afferent projections from the prefrontal cortex and insula, including glutamate, to the basal ganglia and extended amygdala. Molecular genetic studies have identified transduction and transcription factors that act in neurocircuitry associated with the development and maintenance of addiction that might mediate initial vulnerability, maintenance, and relapse associated with addiction.[1]

Asking because this was recently featured in 2022 in science:

Neuroscientists report PFC-Hb connectivity white matter impairment in both cocaine and heroin addiction.[2][3]

Maybe a new article like neurobiological effects of physical exercise may also be warranted and/or additions to another article and/or a change of the header "#Mechanisms" to e.g. "#Mechanisms and impacts".


  1. ^ Koob, George F; Volkow, Nora D (August 2016). "Neurobiology of addiction: a neurocircuitry analysis". The Lancet Psychiatry. 3 (8): 760–773. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(16)00104-8.
  2. ^ "Human cocaine and heroin addiction tied to impairments in specific brain circuit initially implicated in animals". The Mount Sinai Hospital via Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  3. ^ King, Sarah G.; Gaudreault, Pierre-Olivier; Malaker, Pias; Kim, Joo-won; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Xu, Junqian; Goldstein, Rita Z. (16 November 2022). "Prefrontal-habenular microstructural impairments in human cocaine and heroin addiction". Neuron. 110 (22): 3820–3832.e4. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2022.09.011. ISSN 0896-6273. PMC 9671835. PMID 36206758.

Prototyperspective (talk) 20:43, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]