What is addiction?

Addiction is a complex brain disorder characterized by compulsive substance-seeking behavior, loss of control over use, and continued use despite harmful consequences. It is distinct from dependence, as addiction involves psychological and behavioral components beyond the physiological adaptations associated with dependence.

Historical context

The understanding of addiction has evolved over time, with increased recognition of its biological, psychological, and social components. Modern approaches to addiction treatment emphasize comprehensive care, including medications for addiction treatment (MAT), counseling, and support services to address the complex needs of individuals with addiction.

← Back to glossary home

Treatment that works is right at your fingertips.

Get started