Addiction is a compulsion to use substances or engage in behaviors despite adverse consequences.
- Addiction is characterized by repeated failures to control use, increased tolerance, and increased disruption in the family.
- Addiction can effect a person’s self-control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.
- For one in ten people, abuse leads to addiction.
Addiction is chronic, progressive, primary, terminal, and characterized by denial.
Addiction is a brain disorder.
- Addiction is not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, and not solely related to problematic substance abuse.
- Addiction creates distortions in thinking, feelings, and perceptions, which drive people to behave in ways that are not understandable.
- Addiction alters the brain’s reward circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment resulting in the nonsensical pursuit of “rewards“.
- Addiction is a chronic disease. It must be treated, managed, and monitored over a person’s lifetime.
- Source: American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) / Journal of the American Medical Association
Addiction by the Numbers
- 2 in 3 people who use heroin started by using prescription painkillers.
- Each day more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for opioid misuse.
- Every day, 2,000 teenagers misuse prescription drugs for the first time.
- Out of 16.6 million people with alcoholism, 2.6 million were also dependent on an illicit substance.
- More people receive treatment for alcohol than any other substance.
- Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used for the first time. Approximately 7,000 people try marijuana for the first time every day.