What is addiction?

Addiction is a disease and not a moral failing or flaw in character. “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs 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 abuse drugs.”

The Science of Addiction: Drugs, Brains and Behavior
NIH Medline Plus
Spring 2007 Issue: Volume 2 Number 2 Pages 14-17