Addiction is a chronic brain disease, not just the result of bad behaviors or bad choices. That’s according to a new and extensive definition of addiction by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the nation’s largest professional society of physicians who treat addictions. The statement marks the first time ASAM has taken an official position that addiction is not solely related to problematic substance abuse; the definition encompasses addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or sex.
The new definition resulted from a four-year process and the involvement of more than 80 experts, including top addiction authorities, addiction medicine clinicians, and neuroscience researchers. The development process also involved extensive dialogue with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Read ASAM's complete definition of addiction at www.asam.org/DefinitionofAddiction-LongVersion.html.
Also, much more on the latest research and clinical knowledge in addiction treatment is available in American Psychiatric Publishing's Clinical Manual for Treatment of Alcoholism and Addictions at www.appi.org/SearchCenter/Pages/SearchDetail.aspx?ItemId=62373.