Understanding the Nature of Addictions

Addiction is a chronic illness that is characterized by an intense craving for something, a lack of control over its use, and a continued involvement in it despite the negative consequences. It is a complex condition that involves changes in the brain that make it difficult for an individual to resist the urge to use drugs. These changes can be long-lasting, which is why addiction is considered a recurring illness; those who are recovering from a drug use disorder are at greater risk of relapsing even after years without using the substance. At Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center, we believe that addiction is just one symptom of deeper underlying psychological issues.

It is an unhealthy, temporary solution that brings relief. Addiction has been known to run in families, but researchers are discovering that there is no single “addictive personality”. Instead, a combination of genetic factors, character traits, and early life experiences contribute to the inheritance of addiction (see page S4).