Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that afflicts people of all ages. More than 5 million American adolescents suffer from addiction, in the form of a substance or alcohol use disorder. Through the help of an addiction counselor, teens suffering from addiction can find sustainable addiction recovery.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic brain disease characterized by substance use and addictive behavioral activities. Beyond neurological reward, addiction also affects motivation and memory. Addiction tends to manifest in the pathological pursuit by an individual of the substance or behavior that offers relief from the craving that comes with addiction. Like other chronic diseases, addiction usually includes cycles of addictive relapse. Any addiction definition encompasses both physical addiction and psychological addiction.

The effects of addiction include an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, the phenomenon of craving, and a dysfunctional emotional response. The neurobiology of addiction includes the neurochemistry of reward. As a disease with a negative impact on an individual’s ability to maintain relationships and contribute to society, addiction often brings about family trauma and societal stigma.

Addiction recovery usually requires some form of addiction treatment with the aid of an addiction counselor, as well as other mental health and health care professionals. Since addiction is a progressive disease, a lack of addiction recovery can result in negative life consequences, including loss of financial resources, institutional incarceration, and premature death.

Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Psychology Today, American Society of Addiction Medicine

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