What is Addiction?

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.

Adopted by the ASAM Board of Directors September 15, 2019

What is Recovery?

Recovery is a process of change that permits an individual to make healthy choices and improve the quality of his or her life.

  • There are many pathways to recovery. Individuals are unique with specific needs, strengths, goals, health attitudes, behaviors and expectations for recovery.
  • Pathways to recovery are highly personal, and generally involve a redefinition of identity in the face of crisis or a process of progressive change.
  • Furthermore, pathways are often social, grounded in cultural beliefs or traditions, and involved informal community resources, which provide support for sobriety.