What is Addiction?

An addiction, or substance use disorder, is an unhealthy relationship with a substance, thing or activity. If you have a dependence on a substance, you could have a substance use disorder. Mobile CCL can help determine if you have a substance use disorder and if you need help.

A substance use disorder is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug/alcohol seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs and alcohol change the brain – they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs or alcohol.

Can substance use disorders be treated successfully?
Yes.  Discoveries in the science of addiction have led to advances in treatment that help people achieve a lasting recovery and resume productive lives.

What is moderate drinking?

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What counts as a drink? …

Drinks graphic copyWhy do people use drugs or alcohol?

To feel good. Alcohol and most drugs produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial sensation of euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used. For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the “high” is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.

To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depression begin drugs use in an attempt to lessen feelings of distress. Stress can play a major role in beginning drug use, continuing drug use, or relapse in patients recovering from addiction.

To do better. The increasing pressure that some individuals feel to chemically enhance or improve their athletic or cognitive performance can similarly play a role in initial experimentation and continued drug use.

Curiosity and “because others are doing it.” Adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of the strong influence of peer pressure; they are more likely, for example, to engage in “thrilling” and “daring” behaviors.

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