Addiction is a brain disease that builds up gradually as an outcome of the primarily voluntary behavior of using drugs including alcohol.  It is a chronic disorder and not just behavioral issues involving numerous drugs such as alcohol, gambling or sex. In a new definition of addiction experts assert, one that is not merely related to problematic substance abuse.  After a four year process The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) announced this new definition of addiction in which 80 experts involved.

Dr. Michael Miller, former president of ASAM who supervised new definition of addiction. Actually, drug is not a problem but the changes it brought to the brain leads to the offensive acts. Thus, behind the criminal actions of an addict there are neurological changes that force him/her to act in this way. Addiction is a brain difficulty and its’ manifestation occur in different areas of life. Individual suffers from social, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual complexity because of addiction.


Afreen-Muhammad-NaseemMiss Afreen Naseem completed M.Phil from Institute of Clinical Psychology. After completion of study she worked at Pakistan Institute of Learning and Living as a Research Assistant/Clinical Psychologist. Her skills are in the domain of Psychotherapy Psychological and IQ assessment, Interview and History Taking, skilled in Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral therapy and Family therapy.

Editor: Mr. Wakeel Murad


The current definition describes that other factors such as emotional or psychiatric problems isn’t causing addiction. Similar to the cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, addiction has recognized as a fatal disease; its treatment, management and monitoring is necessary for a vulnerable person’s over lifetime, the researcher stated.

Individual’s deliberately irrepressible use of drug, craving and seeking disturbs his family and social life. Their daily routine evolved only in one direction and that is gaining pleasure through addiction. It treatment demands care and attention by immediate family members and professionals.

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  • By knowing the process of brain mechanisms can be useful through which drugs acutely uplift mood, memory, perception, and emotional condition of an addict.
  • The function and structure of brain changes due to the repetitive use of drugs that persist in a long run even though individual stops taking it.
  • Addiction can bring neuro-adaptive changes in the brain that strengthen new memory circuits.

The High jacked Brain
All relevant mechanism involving in addiction are yet unknown, but evidence recommends that ongoing brain changes are accountable  for the distortion of cognitive and emotional functioning that differentiate addicts, mainly involving compulsive drug use.

Drugs captured the brain’s natural motivation control circuit, as in result use of drugs becomes important for a person or a motivational priority.

Therefore, biomedical community considers addiction as a brain disease that damage individual neurological structure. The substantial controversy arises regarding brain based view of addiction, particularly among people who have the ability to utilize thinking process in polarized ways.

A lot of people hold mistaken believes that biological and behavioral explanations are conventional way to develop understanding of addiction phenomena, but actually they are connected with each other.

In addition, components like biological and behavioral aspects play a vital role in the development of addiction.  It is the exemplary bio-behavioral disorder. Research contradicts erroneous believe of people that failure of will or strength of character provoke drug addiction.