What Is Addiction?

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control, and those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs.

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

American Psychiatric Association

Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life. They keep using alcohol or a drug even when they know it will cause problems. Yet a number of effective treatments are available and people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives.

Is Addiction A Disease?

Is Addiction a Disease? Experts say YES

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) frame substance use disorder as a medical condition.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Why Addiction is a “Disease” and Why It’s Important.

Partnership to End Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body that involves compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences. Addiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory. It damages various body systems as well as families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.

What Are Commonly Abused Drugs?

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Learn about different drugs, common and street names, health effects, withdrawal symptoms, treatment options.

What Are Signs Of Drug Addiction?

Mayo Clinic

Learn about symptoms and how to recognize drug use.