The New Types of Addiction (2009)

Rev Med Brux. 2009 Sep;30(4):335-57. [Article in French]
Semaille P.

D.M.G.-U.L.B. [email protected]


Addiction is characterized by the inability to control his consumption of product or control certain behaviors, and the continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of its adverse effects.
Addictions to substances like heroin, cocaine, etc., are well known. But other substances potentially addictive are getting more common in Belgium: MDMA, GHB / GBL, Cristal, etc.
The existence of addictions without substance (called also behavioral addiction) is well recognized now: gambling addiction seems to be the most common and has been recognized as a disease by WHO, but we can also observe cyberaddiction, addiction to sex, workalholic, addiction to shopping, etc.

The screening of poly-addiction or to one substance or one behavior should be systematized in the history of every patient. This screening should be facilitated through the development and validation of a cross scale. Particular attention will be paid to certain groups, both in primary prevention and screening: men, adolescents and young adults, university students or high schools, clubbers, sporting people, prisoners, ethnic minorities, people with mental disorders like depression. Primary care workers, and especially general practitioners, are at the first place to detect those different forms of addiction, can affort appropriate care according to patient’s characteristics and type addiction, and to identify high-risk situations for relapse.