Addiction can be defined in many different ways depending on an individual’s substance of choice, situation, and pattern of behavior, but something that is continuously recognized by psychologists today is that addiction and the brain correlate. As many of us know, the brain has different systems that control specific functions of the body from communicating with others to the emotions felt day to day. Addiction is a disease that can unfortunately become a chronic disease for many Americans leading to a life-long battle of substance abuse.
Drugs and alcohol are commonly discussed in terms of addiction, but the term addiction is much broader than those substances. Both illegal drugs and prescription drugs are misused in America today. Behavioral addictions, such as addictions with gambling, food, and sex exist as well. Researchers are discovering that behavior addictions express similar changes in the brain as other addictions. Therefore, even though addiction can be a broad term, similar risk factors, behaviors, and treatments are resulting.