What is Addiction?

Want to learn more about how to prevent substance use disorders, how addiction can hijack the brain, and what we can do to get better when it does? ​Watch this explainer video from Addiction Policy Forum below for a 4-minute crash-course on addiction!

Addiction, also called a substance use disorder, is a “chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences (NIDA, 2014).”

​Over 20 million people suffer from addiction in the United States – that’s 1 in 7 people. On average, we lose 174 people a day to drug overdoses and that number climbs to 415 if you factor in alcohol-related deaths. 



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