Medical research has shown that addiction is a brain disease. According to the disease model, addiction is cause by brain abnormalities and altered brain structure.
The two NIH Institute Directors point out that animal and human studies have shown that critical brain structures and behaviors are disrupted by chronic exposure to drugs and alcohol. These findings, along with ongoing research, are helping to explain how drugs and alcohol affect brain processes associated with loss of control, compulsive drug taking, inflexible behavior, and negative emotional states associated with addiction.
Learn more about the brain disease model of addiction and how NIDA and NIAAA are supporters. Read the full article here.