Thumb-sucking and other addictive behaviors

Addiction can be defined as the compulsive repeated use of a drug or substance (such as alcohol) or performance of a behavior (such as gambling). Dependence is different, occurring when repeated use of a drug (such as heroine) results in physical dependence which causes an unpleasant feeling of withdrawal when the drug is stopped. Addiction and dependence can occur separately, although they often run together.

At five-years-old, I was a thumb-sucker. I recall not being proud of it as my folks seemed progressively upset about my “addiction.” The process that finally helped me quit was when I wa...


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