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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The Peer Recovery Warm Line

Addiction, or substance use disorder,  is a primary and chronic disease of the brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.  This is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences.  These substance use disorders can cause permanent changes in brain structure and chemistry.  Substance use disorders are characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one's behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.

Substance use disorders is like other chronic diseases in that cycles of relapse and remission occur often.

This brain disorder with the requisite characteristics of a medical illness.  There are effective medical and public health approaches to the problem of substance use disorders.  Just as with diabetes, hypertension or asthma, , ongoing disease management is essential for a person suffering with substance use disorders.  As in other chronic illnesses, Individuals with substance use disorder often require multiple courses of treatment to stabilize their condition.  Additionally, a continuum of care for effective prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support is necessary.

Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, substance use disorders are progressive and can result in disability or premature death.  When treated as a chronic illness, the compliance and relapse rates of substance dependence are as good or better than for other chronic illnesses.  Sustained recovery relies on an ongoing system of recovery supports, including housing, job training and mentoring.  Click here to go to the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website for more information.

Addiction as a Brain Disease
The Essence of Drug Addiction (NIH)/NIDA)
The Science of Addiction (NIH)/Medline Plus)
The Latest Science of Addiction (NIH/NIDA)
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
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Types of Addiction
The information below is provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Alcohol |Anabolic Steroids |Bath Salts |Club Drugs (GHB, Ketamine, Rohypnol)|Cocaine |Ecstasy/Molly |Fentanyl |Hallocinogens |Heroin |Inhalants |LSD/PCP | Marijuana |Methamphetamine |Opioids or Opiates |Over-the-Counter Drugs  |Prescription Drugs |Ritalin |Spice/K2 |Tobacco
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Helpful Resources
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.)
Click here to take the C.A.G.E. Test for Alcohol & Drug Use
Click here to take the Gambling Test
What to do if Someone you Love has a Problem with Drugs (NIDA)

For additional information, click here to go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

DMHAS Research & Statistics
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