Addiction

The term “addiction” can mean many things to different people. Addiction is a complex condition that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite negative consequences. Per the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. Addiction is more commonly understood as a disease where one has an intense focus on using a certain substance(s) to the point that it takes over their life. Increased tolerance, withdrawal, obsession, and risky behavior are just some of the common indicators of a substance use disorder. Effective treatments for addiction are available, and the first step is often recognition of the problem. A healthcare professional can conduct a formal assessment of symptoms to see if a substance use disorder exists. There are many options that have been successful in treating addiction including behavioral counseling, medication, support groups, evaluation of treatment for co-occurring disorders and long-term follow-up to prevent relapse.

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