What is Addiction?

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. (Read full definition)

Addiction is a chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease, meaning there are evidence-based treatments and specialist to treat addiction. Recovery is possible.

Treatment Resources

Find an ASAM Addiction Specialist

NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Locator

National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Patient Resources

This patient guide includes information on assessment, treatment overview (including treatment plans, patient participation, and counseling), and all the medications available to treatment opioid use and overdose. It also provides links to find a provider and support groups for patients and families.

This guide provides:

  • The definition of addiction
  • Medications to treat opioid addiction
  • Do's and Don'ts in responding to opioid overdose
  • Questions to ask your clinicians
Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Guide for Patients, Families & Friends