What is Drug Addiction

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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While some may view drug addiction as a sign of weakness, it is actually a disease that changes the functioning of the reward structure of the brain.

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction, also known as substance dependence, is a chronic brain disease where the sufferer compulsively seeks the drugs despite the dangerous consequences. It is considered a brain disease as the drugs change the structure and chemical composition of the brain leading to lasting damage and harmful behavioral patterns.

It has been a part of human society for thousands of years since the first “mind- or physiology-altering” substances came into popular practice. Even alcohol is a type of drug, making alcoholism a form of drug addiction. Drug addiction also applies to substances like:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Tobacco
  • Barbiturates
  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy
  • Benzodiazepines

Hand of a drug addict with syringe and pills lying on a wooden floor


Substance dependence is characterized by intense cravings or desires for the drug, typically due to the physical and addictive nature of the chemicals themselves, as well as their psychological effects on the mind. This dual desire, which can easily lead to addiction, makes drugs extremely difficult to give up, but the long-term and potentially deadly consequences make the treatment of drug addiction so important.

Overcoming the symptoms and preventing the ongoing use of these substances is difficult, time-consuming, and even painful at times.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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