Addiction is a chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease, meaning there is no cure. But addiction can be managed, and people with addiction can, and do, recover.”

What is the definition of addiction?

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.




“A major indicator of opiate addiction is continued use of the substance even when there are negative repercussions in place for doing so.”

How to Find Treatment

American Society of Addiction Medicine Physician Locator

Naltrexone Providers

Probuphine Healthcare Provider Locator

SAMHSA Buprenorphine Providers

SAMHSA Treatment Locator (including methadone providers)

Patient and Family Support Groups

This is not a complete list. Listing here does not mean the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) endorses any of the organizations.

Some support groups are for people with substance use disorders, and others allow families and friends to attend meetings or have separate meetings for them:

Dual Recovery Anonymous   913-991-2703

LifeRing   800-811-4142

Narcotics Anonymous

National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates  212-595-NAMA (6262)

Rational Recovery  530-621-4374

Secular Organizations for Sobriety  323-666-4295

SMART Recovery  866-951-5357

Women for Sobriety, Inc.  215-536-8026