What is Drug Addiction

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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



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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