Why is my loved one acting this way?
Addiction (often referred to as a Substance Use Disorder) is a chronic disease of the brain characterized by compulsive substance use despite negative consequences. It is considered a disease because the structure and functioning of the brain are actually changed because of substance use. These changes can have long-lasting, devastating effects, impacting the behavior of the addicted person and often harming his/her relationships with others.

While those with substance-related problems do make the initial decision to start using, the addictive substance soon takes over. Alcohol and drugs alter how the brain transmits information, and they can impair a persons ability to remember, make decisions and have normal emotional responses. Unfortunately, simply removing the substance is not enough to overcome the damage. Treatment is needed.

For more information on the basics of addiction, go to www.drugabuse.gov

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1. Why is my loved one acting this way?
2. Why does it matter if I view addiction as a disease?
3. Why is this so hard to talk about?
4. How do I know if this is actually addiction?
5. Where can I seek help for my loved ones?