Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.Brain changes that occur over time with drug use challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. This is why drug addiction is also a relapsing disease.
- Drug addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed.
- More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.