Addiction 101


What is Addiction?

Addiction 101 addresses several of the most common questions asked about addiction with the aim of increasing understanding.

These common questions include:









How is addiction defined?

The Definitions & Terminology section defines addiction. It also details how clinicians diagnose addiction using medical criteria and outlines several addiction subtypes proposed by experts.

How prevalent is addiction?

The Epidemiology section provides estimates of how common substance use disorder is in the population overall, and also among particular demographic sub-groups (e.g., men and women, adolescents, and different racial/ethnic groups).

What causes addiction?

Many factors are related to the risk for developing, or protecting against the development of, a substance use disorder. The Etiology section summarizes these factors, ranging from individual characteristics (e.g., genetics) to those that affect everyone in a given area (e.g., community resources).

What is the impact of addiction?

Substance use disorders are among the top public health problems in the U.S. and other industrialized nations around the world. The Impact section summarizes how substance use disorders and other hazardous substance use affect individual health, population-level disease and disability, as well as health care and the economy.

What is it like to be addicted?

The personal experiences of individuals currently or formerly living with substance use disorder provide a deeper understanding that statistics and theories cannot offer on their own. In the Phenomenology section, individuals in recovery from substance use disorder share about how it felt to live with addiction.



How do people recover from addiction? The many pathways through which individuals with substance use disorder can achieve and sustain remission and recovery, as well as other key recovery research and resources, are detailed in Recovery 101 sections.

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