“For much of the past century, scientists studying drugs and drug use labored in the shadows of powerful myths and misconceptions about the nature of addiction. When scientists began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower. Those views shaped society’s responses to drug use, treating it as a moral failing rather than a health problem, which led to an emphasis on punishment rather than prevention and treatment.”
“As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a medical disorder that affects the brain and changes behavior. We have identified many of the biological and environmental risk factors and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disorder. Scientists use this knowledge to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches that reduce the toll drug use takes on individuals, families, and communities.” Research Information
Read about the latest advances in addiction research in Nature Outlook: Addiction, a special supplement co-sponsored by NIDA and NIAAA. View the entire supplement at: http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/addiction/. For a commentary authored by NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow and NIAAA Director Dr. George F. Koob, go to http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/addiction/
The brain disease model of addiction is strongly supported by scientific evidence, according to a commentary – “Brain disease model of addiction: why is it so controversial?” , published in The Lancet Psychiatry by NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow and NIAAA Director Dr. George Koob.